Is your estate or inheritance going through Georgia intestate succession?
In this article, you’ll learn:
Let’s dig in.
The Georgia intestate succession statute is OCGA 53-2-1.
The Georgia code for these intestate success laws are:
The remaining sections of OCGA 53-2-1 are in the following sections.
It’s mainly about “Georgia Inheritance Laws Without A Will.”
If there is:
Let’s talk about the Georgia inheritance laws when you have a valid will.
If you die with a will, Georgia’s inheritance laws state that the estate is testate.
With proper estate planning, the testator would have appointed beneficiaries.
These beneficiaries can be anyone they want.
They aren’t necessarily the same ones as intestate succession in Georgia.
When there is a valid will, an executor gets appointed to settle the estate.
They will have to file the will and then prove the validity of the will.
After they probate the will, they will have to pay off the estate’s debts.
Then, they can distribute the remaining assets to the named beneficiaries.
If it’s a small estate, they can just fill out a small estate affidavit and avoid probate.
Let’s talk about who inherits when there is no will in Georgia.
What happens when someone dies without a last will and testament in Georgia?
This is called an intestate estate.
Meaning that the estate gets passed down per the Georgia intestate succession laws.
The “Georgia Intestate Succession” section talks about the laws of intestacy.
And how much your family gets (especially the spouse’s share of the estate).
When there is no will, a personal representative gets appointed to distribute the estate.
They will pay off debts and distribute the remaining estate per intestate succession.
There are certain assets that do not go through the probate process in Georgia.
These are things like:
Otherwise, everything else gets distributed per the Georgia intestacy laws.
If you die without a will in Georgia, the property will get transferred to living relatives.
If you don’t have any relatives, the property will go to the state of Georgia.
This is also known as escheat – where the property goes to the state.
When a property does through probate, it gets transferred to your loved ones.
There will be a quit claim deed issued for the property.
This will transfer the property to the heir per Georgia intestacy laws.
Let’s say you don’t want your distant family members to inherit your estate.
In this case, an estate planning attorney can help you leave it to:
But, this way, the probate courts don’t give your estate to distant family per state laws.
What are the inheritance rights of a surviving spouse?
Let’s say you’re married and you die without a will in Georgia.
What your surviving spouse gets depends on whether you have descendants like:
A surviving spouse has rights to at least one-third of the estate in Georgia.
And that is regardless of how many children there are.
If there is one child, then:
If there is a spouse and two children, they all get one-third of the estate.
With 3+ children, the child’s share of the estate gets reduced.
The surviving spouse has rights to one-third of the estate.
And the child’s share is 66%, split equally by the living children.
If there are no children, the surviving spouse gets the entire estate.
If you have a spouse and no children, the spouse automatically inherits everything in Georgia.
If you have a spouse and children, the spouse does not automatically inherit everything.
This includes biological children and adopted children.
If an asset would have passed through your will, it can go through intestate.
But assets that do not go through the probate courts in Georgia are:
Heir property laws in Georgia state the following.
When a real estate owner dies, the property is automatically passed down to the heirs.
When you die without a will, how the property gets passed down depends on “Heirs at Law.”
The probate process in the state of Georgia passes these assets down.
Let’s talk about who is considered an heir to an estate.
Per the rules of inheritance, the heirs at law in Georgia are:
Living children include:
Let’s look at family members of the decedent based on their degree.
With intestate succession in Georgia, it starts with the first degree.
And works itself down through the fifth-degree family members.
Meaning if you have surviving children, they will get it all.
But if you don’t have surviving children or a spouse, your grandparents get it all.
And so on and so forth.
Related: What An Executor Cannot Do
These rules of inheritance are if you have a spouse and/or kids.
These rules of inheritance are if you do not have a spouse and/or kids.
These rules of inheritance are if you do not have a spouse, kids, parents, or siblings.
If you don’t have any of these, the probate courts will determine who gets your estate.
Sometimes, the estate will just go to the state of Georgia.
Related: Penalty For Stealing From An Estate
Let’s look at Georgia’s intestate succession for children.
The types of minor children that will receive an inheritance are:
Children that will not receive a child’s share of the intestate estate are:
If you die without a will in Georgia, your estate goes through intestate succession.
A personal representative will pay off your estate’s debts.
And then they will distribute the remaining assets to your heirs.
No, inheritance is not marital property in Georgia.
Inheritances are always separate property in the state of Georgia.
No, Georgia does not have inheritance taxes.
If a child dies before a parent, the estate goes to the surviving spouse.
If there is not a surviving spouse, it goes to your parents and then to your siblings.
Yes, grandchildren do get their grandparent’s inheritance if their parent dies.
Their parent’s share of the inheritance will get passed down to them.
Yes, grandchildren are legal heirs.
But grandchildren can only inherit property if their parents have passed away.
There are not any inheritance taxes in the state of Georgia.
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