Livens & Reed, PLLC

Stepparent handling estate administration may concern children

When a loved one does not make end-of-life preparations, it is easy for issues to come about among the surviving family. Some family members may realize that there is a chance for problems before their loved one's passing, but due to mental decline or other issues, the person is unable to create an estate plan. As a result, Texas families may be left to find the best way to handle estate administration and any resulting conflict.

In many cases, stepparents can cause biological children to have concerns over their biological parent's estate. If the biological parent did not create an estate plan, those concerns may be even greater. In some cases, a stepparent may claim everything relating to the estate and tell the children that they get nothing. However, that is not how the process has to play out.

Because the court appoints a representative when there is no estate plan, the biological children could contest having a stepparent appointed to this role. As a result, the stepparent would not control the estate, but a just reason is needed to contest such an appointment. Additionally, state intestate laws would indicate to whom the remaining assets go, which may mean that a stepparent receives some assets but not necessarily everything.

It can certainly be challenging to have the fear that a stepparent will take over a biological parent's estate and leave nothing to the children. If Texas residents have such concerns for their parents' estates, they may want to gain more information on obtaining their rightful inheritances through estate administration. It can be a difficult but worthwhile process for those hoping to obtain a piece of their loved one's estate.

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