What if the Heir Predeceases the Decedent in Texas?

By Anna Assad

In Texas, if an heir of a person dies before him, what happens to the heir's share of the estate depends on whether the decedent left a will. Heirs commonly include the decedent's children and spouse. Because a will usually leaves instructions for the shares of predeceased heirs, the will's terms determine where the deceased heir's share goes. If the decedent died intestate, or without a valid will, Texas laws decide who inherits the heir's share.

In Texas, if an heir of a person dies before him, what happens to the heir's share of the estate depends on whether the decedent left a will. Heirs commonly include the decedent's children and spouse. Because a will usually leaves instructions for the shares of predeceased heirs, the will's terms determine where the deceased heir's share goes. If the decedent died intestate, or without a valid will, Texas laws decide who inherits the heir's share.

Will

Texas laws allow the decedent to provide for predeceased heirs in his will. The decedent may have provided for an heir's death by directing that a predeceased heir's share should go to the heir's children. The decedent may have decided that a predeceased heir's share shouldn't go to the heir's survivors, but to the rest of the persons inheriting property under the will instead. The executor of the will must follow the will's directions regarding the shares of predeceased heirs.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

No Will

The estate of a person who died without a will is subject to Texas intestacy rules. In Texas, one-third of the estate of an intestate person belongs to a surviving spouse, with the remaining two-thirds going to his living children; the share of a child that died before his father goes to that child's descendants, or the decedent's grandchildren. If the decedent had no living spouse when he died, his entire estate belongs to his children. If any of his children are deceased, their children inherit their parent's share. If his children died and didn't leave any heirs, his parents inherit his estate equally. However, if one parent died before him, the other parent gets half his estate -- and his siblings get the other half. If both parents died before him, his siblings and the surviving children of his predeceased siblings — his nieces and nephews — share his estate equally.

Adopted Children

Any children the decedent adopted are considered his natural children under Texas law. A will still controls what happens if an adopted child dies before the decedent. If the decedent died intestate, the intestacy rules apply to an adopted child the same way the rules apply to a natural child. However, the adopted child's birth parents can't inherit from the child. So if the adopted child dies before the decedent and leaves no children, her birth parents can't inherit her share.

120-Hour Rule

Texas intestacy laws treat an heir of a decedent as a predeceased heir if she dies within 120 hours of the decedent. If it's impossible to determine who died first — for example, if the decedent and the heir were involved in a fatal car accident — the law presumes the heir died before the decedent. The 120-hour rule also applies to heirs in a will, but if the will provided for simultaneous deaths, the will's directions prevail.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
Intestacy Rules in Colorado

References

Related articles

Sibling Inheritance Law in Georgia

A properly executed will is an important step in ensuring that your property and possessions will pass to your siblings. In Georgia, certain procedures must be followed to create a valid will, and the amount transferred can vary based on the nature of the relationship between the person drafting the will and those inheriting under it. If no valid will is in existence at the time of death, the decedent's property will still pass to his heirs based on Georgia's intestate laws, which organize relatives based on their proximity to the decedent's immediate family.

The Rights in Texas of a Deceased Husband's Second Wife

When a person dies, his surviving spouse is typically the first person entitled to inherit from his estate. In Texas, the decedent's estate passes according to the provisions of his will or, if there is no will, the laws pertaining to intestate succession. If the decedent has married a second time, that surviving spouse has a claim to the estate's assets either by will or intestacy.

Florida Rules on No Wills

When a person dies without a valid will, Florida law steps in and directs how the individual's assets will be distributed. The person who died, referred to as the "decedent," is considered "intestate." In addition to providing which heirs receive what portions of the estate, the intestate laws also dictate how a personal representative will be appointed.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

The California Law When the Deceased Has No Will

If a person dies intestate, or without a will, in California, his estate is subject to California's intestacy laws. ...

Difference Between Heir & Legatee

You may hear the terms "heir" and "legatee" used interchangeably, but the words have two different ...

Can an Heir Be Deleted From a Property Inheritance?

When someone leaves a will, he can bequeath his property to anyone he chooses. With the exception of his spouse in some ...

Do You Have to Divide an Estate to Include the Children of a Deceased Brother?

When a person passes away, his estate is divided among his heirs. The person responsible for this is called the ...

Browse by category