What happens to your property if you die without a will?

| Nov 23, 2020 | Estate Planning

It is important for everyone to have a will. Making a legal will ensures that you can determine what happens to your property. Regardless of the value of your assets, you should remain in charge of what happens to them. Dying without a will or “intestate” will result in a probate court deciding how to distribute your assets among your family. Here is a brief overview of how probate courts in Georgia typically allocate assets when a person dies intestate. 

Spouses

According to statutory law governing probate in Georgia, all of your estate passes to your spouse if you have no children. If you have children, your assets will be distributed between your spouse and any children. Your spouse will receive not less than one third of the value of assets that your children receive. If your spouse dies within six months after you have passed, a probate court will award your estate to his or her heirs. 

Children

If you do not have a spouse and you have children, the entirety of your estate shall pass to your children. A probate court will divide your estate evenly between your living children. Stepchildren who you have not legally adopted will not receive any part of your estate. 

Parents and siblings

If you have no spouse and no children, your estate will pass to your parents. If your parents are deceased, any living siblings will receive the entirety of your estate. Lastly, if your siblings are deceased, their heirs shall inherit what your siblings would have inherited if they were living. 

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