Marriage plays a significant role in estate administration. Generally, a deceased’s surviving spouse automatically receives the former’s assets, even without a will, through intestate succession.
Unfortunately, the same rule does not apply to common-law marriages. While Texas recognizes common-law marriages, a decedent’s common-law partner will not inherit their assets unless they submit the necessary proof to establish the existence of an informal marriage.
This only puts an additional burden on the shoulders of any surviving partner, who is still mourning the loss of their loved one.
Save your partner the hassle by creating a will
By creating a will, a testator in a common-law marriage saves their partner the hassle of having to prove their relationship to inherit their assets if they pass away. Anyone can be a will beneficiary, even those not blood-related to the testator. Hence, a common-law partner assigned as a will beneficiary does not have to prove their relationship to inherit their deceased partner’s assets.
Solidify your intentions and your partner’s financial future
Establishing a common-law marriage is challenging, especially if one of the partners has already died. Moreover, while this is not always the case, other family members might make it more difficult for your partner since they hold interests in your estate, too. If your partner fails to prove your informal marriage sufficiently, they may be left with nothing if you suddenly pass away without a will.
Creating a will sets your intentions about how you want your executor to distribute your assets and who you want to receive them. Accordingly, you will be protecting your common-law partner from probing inquiries about the nature of your relationship and securing their financial future.