Can I leave half my estate to my husband and half to my dauther in Texas?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 22, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I live in Texas and just retired from AT&T. I have a 401k and a lump some buyout.if I but IRA's ,can I leave half to my husband and half to my daughter? I want to leave my only child some of my money and I was told in Texas I have to leave everything to my husband..He has no problem with this but I do...

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

You are free to designate your daughter as an additional beneficiary on your IRA account. However, because Texas is a community property state, most institutions will require that your husband sign a document acknowledging this. It's a simple form, which should be available fro the IRA administrators.

If your husband is not willing to sign such a document "“ I'm sorry, I was a wee bit muzzy about that "“ you could opt instead to write a trust that specifies your daughter should get half those funds at your death, rather than naming your husband and daughter as joint beneficiaries.