Making Democracy Work

Intestacy (Dying Without a Will)

History and Explanation

INTESTACY (Dying Without a Will) + 1985, 1997

The League of Women Voters of Texas supports equitable intestacy laws including the following provisions:

  • the surviving spouse should inherit all of the community property when the decedent had no children or when the surviving spouse is the parent of all the children of the decedent
  • the surviving spouse should not inherit all of the community property when the decedent is survived by minor children not of the surviving spouse
  • the surviving parent of a minor child should be required to obtain court permission to dispose of the child's property when it is valued at more than $50,000.

Explanation and History: Intestacy

Delegates to the 1983 state Convention identified intestacy as needing study. It has not been a legislative priority in recent years.

Intestacy was studied as part of the 1995-97 Periodic Program Review. The position reflects current law but was retained and clarified to allow the League to advocate for equitable intestacy laws in the event of a backlash.