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Texas Estate Planning & Real Estate Law Blog

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Laughing Heir

A laughing heir is one so remotely related to the person who has died (decedent) that there is no sense of bereavement.  Such a person may “laugh” at his or her good fortune rather than bereave the passing of the distant relative. 

A laughing heir statute PREVENTS a laughing heir from inheriting from the decedent.    When the decedent dies without a will, there will be no inheritance by persons more remotely related than grandparents or grandparents’ descendants.  If such relatives cannot be found, the decedent’s property will escheat to the state.

Texas has no laughing heir statute.   A laughing heir may inherit!  Therefore, if the deceased died without a will, the State will qualify an heir, no matter how remotely related to the deceased.   




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