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Marshall Davis Brown Jr: Texas Commonlaw Marriage and Your Estate

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Texas Commonlaw Marriage and Your Estate

Commonlaw marriage is something that you need to take into consideration when working your estate plan if you live in Texas. There are only a few states that acknowledge this form of informal marriage, but Texas just so happens to be one of them. Matrimony has a huge effect on the future of an estate plans, whether it's a formal marriage or an informal one, so it's important to know the implications.

If you haven’t written a will, succession laws will dictate what will happen to your assets should you pass away. Therefore, if you were part of a commonlaw marriage, and it can be proven, this will heavily affect your assets. Proof of the marriage will determine whether the living spouse will receive none or half of the deceased's estate. Thus, if you consent to being in a marriage with your cohabitating partner, it's a good idea to register it with the state so that proof is easy to find. Otherwise, your partner could end up with nothing. Similarly, if you don't consider yourself in a commonlaw marriage with the person you cohabitate with, try to ensure that you leave evidence as such so that your estate goes to your family.

Formalizing a marriage, or formalizing that you're not married, even, could require the assistance of a lawyer like Marshall Davis Brown. Planning your estate and even writing a will, as reluctant as some people are to do this, is never a bad idea. It takes it out of the court's hands to decide who gets what, and you can ensure that your loved ones receive what they deserve.


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