Dallas Attorneys Dealing With Common Law Spouse Claims During A Texas Probate
Texas is one of the few states that recognizes common law marriage. This can become extremely relevant in probate proceedings when the decedent did not have a will. Under state law, common law spouses may have rights of inheritance. The requirements for a relationship to be a valid common law marriage, however, are quite specific. Establishing that such a relationship existed will involve presenting evidence during the probate process. If a loved one has died without a will, and they were part of a legitimate common law marriage, then it is an issue which must be resolved by a Texas Probate Court. Our Dallas attorneys assist with such situations. Call today to speak with a lawyer. We also service Dallas Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Denton, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Center, Texas.
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Legal representation for common law spouses during Texas’ intestate probate process
Girlfriends or boyfriends of a deceased person will not inherit during an intestate probate in the state of Texas. Our state, however, is one of a few which recognizes common law marriages, or marriage established without going through the normal formalities. A common law spouse will often have inheritance rights if their partner dies without a will. Whether one qualifies as a common law spouse will be decided as part of the heirship determination process during probate. One is a common law spouse in Texas if:
- The man and the woman agreed to be married; and
- The couple lived together in Texas as husband and wife; and
- The couple represented to others that they are married
If these requirements are not met, then one will not be considered a common law spouse and will likely have no right to inherit in a probate that has no valid will. Various avenues exist to prove common law marriage. One must present objective evidence establishing that all three of the requirements stated above existed prior to their partner’s death. Evidence may include witness testimony, documentation such as utility bills, real estate deeds or leases, etc. Frequently, couples in Texas are common law married and do not even realize that they are. If you are involved in a probate, and believe there are common law spouse issues, then contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Our Dallas lawyers have represented many Texas residents who have a probate claim as a common law spouse. At the initial consultation we will begin the process of determining whether, in fact, one may qualify as a common law spouse. It is common for people to think that they do not qualify for this designation when, in fact, the requirements are met. Assuming the requirements are met, then we can fight to include the common law spouse as an heir in the probate proceeding. It is essential to raise this issue quickly after someone has passed away to ensure that you are not wrongfully disinherited. We will help to ensure that the matter proceeds as smoothly as possible so that the case can be concluded, and the heirs can receive their inheritance, as quickly as possible. Our attorneys are ready to assist you.
Dallas lawyers assisting against wrongful probate claims of one asserting themselves as a common law spouse
People frequently claim the rights of a common law spouse during a Texas probate even though they do not meet the criteria discussed above. The remaining heirs may wish to challenge such claims to ensure that their inheritance is protected. In such a situation it is important that you have a probate litigation lawyer familiar with this area of the law. Our attorneys devote a substantial part of their practice to probate. We can assist personal representatives of the estate who are dealing with a girlfriend or boyfriend who is trying to obtain legal protections they do not deserve. The Johnson Firm focuses on the business of probate so that you may focus on your future.
Contact our Dallas lawyers today to schedule an initial consultation. We also serve clients in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Denton, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Center, Texas.