If your loved one died without a valid will, you need to know how to protect your legal rights and carry out their last and final wishes. As explained by the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, the team ‘intestate’ is used in official legal proceedings to refer to passing away without a valid will.

When this occurs, interested parties should seek legal guidance from a skilled attorney who has experience representing clients in probate without a will in Texas. There are some unique issues that must be addressed in these cases. Here, our legal team explains the key things you need to know about what happens when someone dies without a will in Dallas, TX.

Texas Law Will Control the Estate

As was mentioned, passing away without a will is known as having died ‘intestate’. When this occurs, Texas law will govern the administration of the estate and the distribution of the decedent’s property and assets. Under state law (Texas Estate Code § 201.001), assets will generally go to a person’s closest living relative(s). In some cases, identifying next-of-kin will not be all that challenging of a task. As an example, if a married person without children passes away, the Texas intestate succession rules will likely result in their assets going to their spouse. Of course, in other cases, intestate succession can be far more complicated. Beyond that, there is also the issue of identifying all of the assets that are covered within the estate. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, identifying the decedent’s property may be relatively easy or extremely difficult.

How the Probate Process Will Move Forward 

Even if there is no will, a decedent’s estate is still required to go through the Texas probate process. Under Texas law (Texas Estate Code § 203.001), there are specific procedures in place to ensure that all assets and all heirs are identified. Indeed, the determination of heirship is a requirement under state law.

How exactly this process works will depend on the specific nature of the estate. If there is no dispute over heirship, then probate without a will can proceed far more quickly. A non-judicial affidavit of heirship may even be sufficient to move forward. Formal administration of the estate may not actually be necessary. Of course, if there are any disputes over assets or if assets are not identified, it is crucial that parties take the proper steps to protect their rights and interests.

Get Help From Our Dallas, TX Probate Attorneys Today

At the Law Offices of Brian Hill PLLC, our top-rated Dallas, TX probate lawyer has extensive experience handling cases in which a person died without a valid will. We will protect your legal rights and financial interests. To get immediate support with your no will case in Texas, please contact our legal team today. We serve clients throughout North Texas, including in Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Arlington, McKinney, Frisco, Denton, and Plano.

This blog is available for educational purposes only and to give general information. It is not to provide legal advice. By using this blog, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between the attorney and yourself. Each person’s situation differs, and therefore, for your personal situation, please seek professional legal advice. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in Texas.