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Intestacy & Heirs Determinations

DYING WITHOUT A WILL IN TEXAS

The Law Offices of Kennedy & Jackson
Houston, Texas
713-783-7444 | Email

Too many families experience the struggle involved when a family member dies without a will. In legal terminology, dying with no will is called “dying intestate.” When no will exists but the deceased person had assets and potential heirs, then the process of making heirship determinations and guiding the estate through the intestate process or heirship proceedings will be slow and costly. This is especially true if the deceased person had minor children who must now be provided for.

Creating a proper estate plan is a cost-efficient way to prevent the confusion and expense that your surviving family members will experience if you die intestate, or without a will.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON DIES INTESTATE IN TEXAS

When a person dies without a will (dies intestate) in Texas, then the state of Texas has laws that will determine who receives the deceased person’s assets. All potential heirs must go through an heirship determination process, to prove their relationship to the deceased.

The court will appoint a second attorney, to represent any unknown or unidentified heirs. Thus, two attorneys are needed to do heirship determinations — and the expense of the attorneys’ fees decreases the net value of the assets to be distributed from the deceased person’s estate.

If the deceased person has a child who is underage, or who is a disabled adult, then the court will establish a guardianship for the child — in cases where the parent dies intestate. The guardian will have control over all decisions relating to the child’s education, health care and finances. Another attorney is generally appointed by the court to represent the minor children. Thus up to three attorneys can be involved when someone dies without a will. These costs can be easily avoided with the preparation of an estate plan.

KNOWLEDGEABLE LEGAL ASSISTANCE WITH INTESTATE PROBATE ADMINISTRATION

If you need legal assistance with an heirship determination or other matters relating to intestacy or a relative who has passed away without a will, we invite you to contact The Law Offices of Kennedy & Jackson.

Located in Houston, Texas, our law firm focuses its legal practice exclusively on matters relating to estate planning and probate administration. For decades, our attorneys have structured estate plans and guided estates through probate. Each of our probate administration attorneys is board-certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

CONTACT THE LAW OFFICES OF KENNEDY & JACKSON

Our law office is located in the Galleria area of Houston, with free on-site parking available next to our office building. We provide a complimentary — and confidential — initial consultation to all new potential clients.

To schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers, call 713-783-7444 or send us an email.