Intestate Succession

Choice of Law

In re Estates of Garcia-Chapa, 33 S.W.3d 859 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2000, no pet.).


Intestates died domiciled in Mexico with bank accounts located in Texas. The court recognized the basic choice of law rule that the laws of an intestate’s domiciliary jurisdiction determine the succession to personal property such as the bank accounts at issue. Accordingly, Mexican intestacy law should determine the succession to the accounts. However, the court refused to apply Mexican law because the parties failed to comply with the procedures mandated by the Texas Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure which must be followed before a court will apply foreign law

Moral: A party who wishes a Texas court to apply foreign law must first comply with the applicable rules of evidence and procedure.