What happens if a will is declared invalid in Texas?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Estate And Trust Administration

There are various reasons why a will may be declared invalid in Texas, from lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence to improper execution and fraud. When this happens, the will is not enforceable, as it is no longer legally recognized.

Texas intestacy laws will come into play in such instances to determine how the deceased person’s estate will be distributed. Let’s look at how this works.

Appointment of an administrator

The first order of business is appointing an administrator to manage the estate. If the heirs cannot agree on whom this should be, the court will appoint someone suitable to act in that capacity. The administrator is responsible for identifying and valuing the estate assets, paying any debts or taxes owed by the estate and distributing the remaining assets according to Texas intestacy laws.

Distribution of assets

As mentioned, the remaining assets after all the estate’s outstanding financial obligations have been settled will be distributed to the decedent’s heirs. The law provides a specific order of distribution based on the relationship of the heirs to the deceased person. In most cases, assets are distributed to the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents and siblings, in that order.

It is worth noting that anyone related to the deceased could potentially be considered an heir-at-law, no matter how distant the relationship. The decedent’s property only passes to the state if none of their heirs, even distant ones, are alive.

Seeking legal guidance to understand your rights and responsibilities if your loved one’s will has been declared invalid or they died without one is essential. It can help you navigate the complexities of Texas intestacy laws and protect your interests.