Make Your Wills!
& make sure your spouse makes his/hers, & make sure your parents make theirs, etc.
just talked to a friend whose dad died intestate (without a will).
He left behind 2 children & 1 granddaughter, the child of his deceased son.
The son had had custody of this little girl from the time she was 3 years old.
In Texas, it isn't that easy to get custody away from the mother, but this one had left such a clear trail of risky behavior that the courts awarded the father sole custody.
But when one parent dies, the other one becomes the custodial parent (unless parental rights have been terminated).
When the child's grandfather died without a will, the child inherited her father's share according to state law, *& her mother got total control of the inheritance*.
The grandfather's surviving children can't do a thing about it;
they can't make the court put the money in trust for their niece,
they can't get a trustee assigned to protect her interests,
Had their father made a will, he could have established a trust for her.
As it is, she'll get nothing.