What is an heirship determination, and when do you need one?

If a person dies without a will, then the court determines the identity of the heirs of that deceased person.  This is known as an heirship determination in Texas.  When you write a will, you name your heirs to be whomever you choose, regardless of the members of your family.  Without a will, no heirs are named, and so the court must decide who the heirs of an estate will be.  The Texas Estates Code sections 201.002 and 201.003 dictate the shares of property that particular heirs, always family members, would be awarded in the absence of a will.

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