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Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives

What do spouses receive if one dies intestate?

When people are married in Texas they generally share their lives. When one spouse earns income, it is as if both earned the money. They also share their assets such as a house, car, investment accounts and other assets. However, spouses do not always pass away at the same time and when one dies before the other, a spouse does not necessarily receive all of their spouses' property. This is especially true if the spouse that passes away first did not have a will.

Required notice to beneficiaries of a will

When people in Texas pass away their property will be distributed to their family members as is determined by a statute. However, sometimes people do not want all their property to go in equal shares to their children, their siblings or others as determined by the statute. People can control where their property goes though. This can be accomplished by drafting a will. In the will people can give their property in different shares to different people depending on the relationships they had with various people throughout their lives.

Handwritten wills create problems in probate court

At the heart of all probate litigation is the quest to uncover the intentions of the deceased. That person is no longer around to answer any questions or clear up any confusion, and so probate courts rely on a written will. This is why courts are so strict about making sure a will meets all the formal requirements before they will accept it as valid. It's also why some of the trickiest issues involve wills that are not entirely clear about the person's intentions.

Texas blended families have specific estate planning needs

There is no step by step guide for every estate plan in Texas or anywhere else. Since everyone's family situation is different, estate planning must reflect those differences. Some families might have significant assets and minor children. Others have a family business that requires intricate assessments as to how it will be passed along. Distribution of assets and determining beneficiaries could be complicated by internal disputes.

What is the difference between heirs and beneficiaries?

Though the terms heirs and beneficiaries are often used interchangeably, many Pennsylvania residents may not be aware that they have different legal meanings and implications. Understanding the difference between the two can help people understand their status is one's estate plan.