In Texas, property is viewed as separate or community.
An estate plan disposes of your one-half community property and all your separate property. If you are married, you and your spouse should both have estate plans. If you are single, a single individual’s estate in Texas consists of all property owned by such individual at the time of death.
Many couples are confused and think that once they are married, everything that they have is community property. This is not true. If you are married, here is a list and description of assets that would be considered separate property:
- If you owned any property prior to getting married, that is your own separate property.
- Any property that was acquired during the marriage by a gift, devise, or descent, which could be from an inheritance from Uncle Ted or some other friend or relative, would be viewed as separate property and not community property.
- If you acquired property during your marriage that was traceable as a change that occurred from previously owned separate property you had, this property may still be considered as separate property.
- If you have property that was transferred from one spouse to another in the form of a gift, this is viewed as separate property.
- Damages awarded from a personal injury lawsuit, except for damages representing your earning power, would also be separate property.
Community property is considered everything else that's acquired during marriage. Unlike separate property, community property is divided in half in the event of divorce.
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