This article briefly outlines the community property and common law property systems and gives a brief history of wills. Next follows a discussion of built-in protections provided spouses in the community and common law property systems. Third, this article addresses how a spouse migrating to Texas from a common law state can be effectively left without support when her property-acquiring spouse devises property the couple acquired during marriage to a third party. Fourth, this article contends that quasi-community property principles should be employed in probate contexts to provide widowed migrating, non-acquiring spouses equitable property distributions similar to the way they apply in cases of divorce in Texas and in accordance with the jurisdictions of California, Idaho, Washington, and Louisiana. Finally, this article argues the Texas Legislature should amend the Texas Probate Code and suggests proposed legislation to correct the present inequity.
Mark E. Harden & Barbara A. Lindsay-Smith,
Beware, Migrating Spouses, Texas Lacks a Quasi-Community Property Statute: It Could Be a Long Cold Winter,
Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/TWLR.V3.I1.4