Inheritance laws in Texas are generally less complicated than in other states since Texas does not impose any inheritance or estate tax. Estates with a will that are valued at less than $75,000 do not have to go through the court system and only require one simple affidavit.
Dying with a will
When a deceased person has left a complete will, beneficiaries have much less to worry about, and there will be little interaction with the court. As long as a person’s will designates an executor, heirs to property and guardians for minor children, the will is usually executed exactly as written. If the estate is valued at or more than $75,000, the probate court will oversee the process.
There may be probate issues when an estate plan was not completed or updated before a person’s death. For example, if a person failed to mention a newly acquired piece of real estate in their will, the probate court will have to make a decision about who inherits the property.
Dying without a will
When a person leaves no will, the probate court will be much more involved in the distribution of assets. Intestacy laws will kick in, and the deceased person’s assets will be distributed between their spouse, children and possibly other relatives.
Marital property laws in estate planning
If you’re married when you write your will, a lot of your assets may be considered the community property of you and your spouse. Making the distinction between marital and separate property can be complicated, but it is important in estate planning. It’s also important to know that Texas recognizes common law marriages.