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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7243
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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Who Gets What? Why?

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My great great grandfather died leaving 117 acres of land worth more than 1/2 of a million dollars but died intestate. My great great grandmother died intestate before he did. His second wife died intestate before him too. The land was purchased while he was married to his first wife, my great great grandmother. He already owned the property before he married his second wife. Now everyone from his children to his great grandchildren all died intestate. Now it has come down to us, all of his great great grandchildren but who gets what? This is in the state of Texas. Do the great great grand children from the second wife inherit anything at all?

Hello and thanks for submitting this question. Generally speaking, if your GG Grandfather owned the property before he married Wife 2, and she predeceased him, the property ownership has descended only to and through his heirs.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you but you did not really answer my question. The problem is that everyone is considering themselves heir to his property from both wives. I wanted to know if the descendants from his second marriage were entitled to anything since the property was community property of his marriage with my great great grandmother.

The property was not community property with Wife2 because he owned it prior to their marriage. One has to research what statute was in effect when Wife 1 died. If the land was community property at that time, then the children of Wife 1 are very likely to be the heirs to her half of the property. But it doesn't appear that the children of wife 2 would be heirs.

Here are the general rules:

1) If Decedent was married and had no children, Decedent's surviving spouse inherits all Community Property.
2)If Decedent died On or Before September 1, 1993, married and had children, Decedent's surviving spouse retains his/her one-half of the Community Property and the Decedent's children inherit the Decedent's one-half of the Community Property.
3) If Decedent died After September 1, 1993, married and had only children of that marriage, Decedent's surviving spouse retains his/her one-half of the Community

Property and inherits the Decedent's remaining one-half of the Community Property.
4) If Decedent died After September 1, 1993, married and had children other than, or in addition to, the children with the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse retains his/her one-half of the Community Property and the Decedent's children inherit the Decedent's one-half of the Community Property.
5)If Decedent was survived by children but no surviving spouse, the Decedent's children inherit all of Decedent's Property (see this in Separate Property Distribution Basics).

You've got your work cut out for you trying to sort out all the current ownership interests. Good luck.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

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