The phrase, heirs at law, is often used in Texas wills. Attorney Ray Kerlick explains its meaning and use in this video. Call or text 800-929-1725 for an appointment.
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Question: Who are heirs at law?
Heirs at law is a legal term. In Texas, it has a specific meaning pursuant to the intestacy statute. Generally the phrase identifies who inherits things from me if I don’t have a will?
In most wills, we include what I would call a catch-all phrase. That catch-all phrase says if my spouse dies, it then goes to my children, if my children die, and it then goes to my grandchildren and so on and so on.
But there’s a point at which we’re not going to name any more people. So we say if everyone named in the will is gone, it goes to my heirs at law. That takes us over to the statute and the Texas Estates Code, which lists the order of people to inherit.
According to the Code, heirs at law generally starts with my spouse, then my children, then my parents, then my siblings, then my nieces and nephews, and then my cousins. Beyond that it’s essentially the closest person related to me. So heirs at law is a fancy way of saying the people who inherit will be the persons who are most closely related to me at the time of my death.
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