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What Property Can You Inherit?

A spouse’s inheritance rights are clear under Texas law. However, there are some important facts to understand.

Property Not Distributed Through a Will

A will does not distribute certain property. The reason is that different types of legal instruments other than wills can name beneficiaries. Or, they indicate joint ownership and survivor’s ownership. Examples of written legal documents that pass assets to named beneficiaries, include:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Stock brokerage accounts
  • Bank accounts
  • IRAs
  • Employee benefit plans
  • Pensions
  • Retirement plans
  • CDs
  • Savings bonds

Joint property ownership may apply to:

  • Real estate
  • Motor vehicles

Motor vehicles that have a second name on the title pass to the other owner. Real estate held jointly with both names on the title automatically pass to the remaining owner.

Property held in a trust does not have to go through probate and will pass to the designated beneficiary. Terms of the trust would determine how the property is distributed.

Community Property Is Part of a Spouse’s Inheritance Rights

A spouse has a right to property that is jointly owned with the other spouse during their marriage, called community property. Under Texas law, each spouse owns half of the jointly owned property.

For this reason, when one spouses dies, the other spouse will inherit at least half of the jointly owned property. This refers to jointly owned property that does not have a title. Examples include personal items, such as furniture, appliances, clothes and other household goods.

If there is no will, the probate court will distribute property subject to probate based on Texas intestate laws.

Do You Need Help with a Will or Probate?

Losing a loved one is an emotionally tough time in life. Receiving legal help from a compassionate attorney can help you deal with the challenges of a will or probate.

At Little Law, PLLC we are glad to answer your questions and help you with legal issues in whatever way we can.