Dallas, TX asked in Estate Planning for Texas

Q: How much life estate is the surviving spouse is entitled to?

There is two properties. One where the diseased reside and the other on county road where he had a business. Is the surviving spouse entitled to life estate on both properties?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: As with most things, it depends.

If the deceased person was married with children, And the real estate is separate property, Then the surviving spouse gets a life estate in 1/3 of All the separate property real estate.

If the real estate is community property, And all the children are also children of both the decedent and the surviving spouse, Then the All of the community property real estate goes to the surviving spouse. If there are children from outside the marriage, then the community property real estate goes 1/2 to the children, and 1/2 to the surviving spouse.

If there's a will, all of the property owned by the decedent passes according to the will, and not by the rules of intestate succession.

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