Developments In Inheritance Laws

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Do half siblings have the same inheritance rights as whole siblings?

The issue of who inherits when a person dies has to deal with all of the various forms of today’s families.  Families may consist of parents and step-parents, brothers and sisters, step-brothers and sisters and half-brothers and sisters. This post discusses the issue of the inheritance rights of whole and half brothers and sisters or what the law refers to as those of the “whole blood” and those of the “half blood.” This post does not include the inheritance rights of step siblings who generally do not inherit from other step siblings or step parents unless there is a will that names them as a beneficiary.

In Texas, the laws of descent and distribution determine what happens to a person’s property if they die intestate (without a will.) They may have failed to make a will or a purported will may have been contested and denied probate. In those cases, the law determines who gets the estate and the law treats “those of the half blood” differently from “those of the whole blood.” As an example, if a person dies and is survived by a half brother and a whole brother, the half brother will take half of what the whole brother will take. If the survivors are all “of the half blood,” they will take a full share the same as if all of the survivors were “of the whole blood.” TPC 41(b).

Pearls of wisdom. If you have “step” relations or “half” relations and you want them to participate in your bounty or you want to make sure that they don’t participate in your bounty, it is important that you make a will so that the judge uses your wishes instead of the laws of descent and distribution to determine who inherits your estate.

Copyright by Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about inheritance laws, inheritance rights, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want information about contesting a will and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please go to our main site www.theprobate.net and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case and there is no fee for the initial consultation.

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