Can You Disinherit Your Spouse in Texas?


For one reason or another, not all marriages work out. It’s for this reason that it’s better to sometimes call things off before they get any worse. While some couples choose to end things amicably, others come to a less pleasant and messier end.

There are a lot of ways that a marriage can come to a messy end. One major aspect affected by this would be the property division and even inheritance. For one reason or another, one party may no longer want their spouse to benefit from any inheritance that was originally due to them during the marriage. Unfortunately, for those who want to write off or disinherit their spouses in Texas, the process isn’t so simple.

Disinheriting?

When you talk about disinheriting someone, that just means that you want to write someone off from inheriting something that they were meant to inherit. This might be an inheritance due them by way of the law or through a written will. Whatever the case may be, you are allowed by the state of Texas to disinherit a family member. However, this legal action can only be applied to your children. When it comes to your spouse, on the other hand, disinheriting them is just not possible.

What Can I Do Then?

While you can’t disinherit your spouse, that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent them from inheriting what is due to them. One way you can do this would be by way of a postnuptial agreement. With this, your spouse agrees that they will be waiving their rights.. These rights may be over certain properties or are amenable to receiving less than what Texas law normally mandates when it comes to property division in the event of a divorce. The only problem with this is you’ll have to make sure that your spouse agrees to sign the postnuptial agreement for this to take effect.

If you’re the type of person to prepare for things in advance, you can also prepare for a “prenup”. Much like the postnuptial agreement, your spouse will agree to not inheriting what they normally would according to Texas law or would agree to not inheriting certain properties. All the same, you will need your spouse to agree to this for it to be valid.

But bear in mind, with these two options, your spouse would inherit your properties by default in the absence of a will or either of these agreements.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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