In this video, Attorney Brian Bankhead talks about what happens to your house when you die. Get the peace of mind that comes with completing an estate plan for your loved ones. Call 800-929-1725 for an appointment at our offices in Fort Bend County, Wharton County, and Matagorda County.
Summary of What Happens to Your House When You Die
Hello again, my name is Brian Bankhead. I’m an attorney at Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick, and I’d like to take a minute and discuss with you what happens to your house when you die.
A person’s house is generally their biggest asset, and so it’s usually the question I get the most as to what happens to my house when I pass away? And that really depends.
Texas Can Determine Who Gets Your House When You Die
Let’s say that you make no preparation whatsoever, and you pass away without a will (die intestate), leaving your house. In that case, your home and any other property will be divided according to Texas law.
If you’re married at the time, all property acquired after marriage is considered community property in Texas. Generally, that means that each married individual has a one-half interest in that property. So let’s say you die without a will and you’re married.
Your half of the house acquired during the marriage is now in question as to who owns it. In this case, the Texas law of intestacy will determine what percentage of your half will go to your spouse or will go to any children you may have. In other words, Texas law will determine who gets your house when you die.
How You Can Determine Who Gets Your Property
So let’s take another example. Let’s say you have a home, you’re single, and you have a will. We’re now going to look at the will to determine whether the house is included in that will. Most wills are drafted in a way to include any and all property. So we have to go to court, we have to go to probate, we have to determine the beneficiary of that will, and the beneficiary of that will then receives your property. So the easiest way we can effectuate what we want is to clearly designate your beneficiary for that property.
To do that, there are some things we can do, the easiest of which is to draft what’s called a transfer-on-death deed. A transfer-on-death deed will effectuate upon your death and will instantly give your property to whoever you name as beneficiary.
Another option is to draft a deed to give the property away before you pass away. A gift deed will give the property to whomever you desire before you pass away, but the cool thing is that we can reserve a life estate. The life estate allows you to remain in the property for as long as you live. Upon your death, the property goes to whoever you name as the beneficiary of that deed.
Get the Help You Need to Distribute Your Property According to Your Wishes
So if you need help with determining what to do with your property, we can help you build an estate plan that reflects your wishes for your property. We have offices in Matagorda County, Wharton County, and Fort Bend County, and we are more than happy to help you. I work at the Fulshear office. I’d be more than glad to help you and just let us know.
Call or text 800-929-1725 for an appointment at any of our offices. Appointments can be in-person, online, or by phone.