For many different reasons, Texas residents avoid the issue of estate planning. For some, they just don’t like the idea of making a plan for when they die. For others, it is just a form of willful neglect: they know they need to have a will or some other form of estate plan, but they just keep putting it off for another day. And then there are those who don’t think they need an estate plan.
However, one of the most important reasons to have an estate plan is to avoid the impact of Texas intestacy laws. When a person dies without a will or estate plan, that person is said to have died “intestate.” As a result, Texas state law steps in to determine how that person’s estate is distributed. For many people, that is not a result that they want to see happen.
Texas intestate law, like the intestate laws in most states, designates a person’s spouse and children as the primary people to inherit an estate. That may be the result that most people who are drafting estate planning documents want anyways, but not everyone.
What if you have no children and you are separated from your wife? What if you have remarried and you want the bulk of your estate to pass to your children and not your second spouse? These, and many other reasons, are why people in Texas might want to draft an estate plan that helps them to avoid the impact of Texas intestate laws.
Source: www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us, “ESTATES CODE,” Accessed Feb. 20, 2017