How To Transfer Property After A Death Without A Will In Georgia

How To Transfer Property After A Death Without A Will In Georgia

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When there is not a will, the property has to go through probate to get transferred. 

There are three things we need to cover here: 

  • intestate succession laws (who will get the property)
  • the probate process (how to get the property)
  • how to transfer the property (getting the property into your name)

Intestate Succession

The property will get split up per Georgia’s intestate succession laws

Here are the different scenarios: 

  • Spouse, But No Kids: The spouse inherits everything.
  • Spouse With Kids: The estate is divided evenly, with the spouse receiving at least one-third.
  • No Spouse Or Kids: The estate goes to the parents first, then to aunts and uncles, and finally to cousins.

Ex 1: Your spouse passes and you have 3 kids

  • You’d get one-third of the estate (33.3%).
  • The 3 kids would evenly split the remaining 66.7% (22.2% each). 

Ex 2: Your spouse passes and you have 1 kid

  • You’d each get 50% of your spouse’s estate. 

The Probate Process

When there is not a will, this is what the probate process looks like: 

  1. File Petition: Submit a petition to the probate court in the decedent’s county.
  2. Appoint Administrator: The court appoints an estate administrator.
  3. Inventory Assets: The administrator identifies and values all estate assets.
  4. Notify Creditors: Notify creditors and settle any debts.
  5. Identify Heirs: Determine heirs according to intestate succession laws.
  6. Obtain Court Approval: Get court approval to distribute assets.
  7. Transfer Assets: Distribute assets to heirs, including transferring real estate.
  8. Close Estate: File a final accounting with the court and close the estate.

The administrator is usually the closest relative, like a spouse or child. 

How To Transfer Property To The Heirs

This is expanding on Step 7 in the Probate Process from above. 

Your steps to transfer property will be: 

  1. Prepare the Deed: Draft a quitclaim deed to transfer ownership.
  2. Sign the Deed: The administrator must sign the deed in front of a notary and two witnesses.
  3. Notarize the Deed: The deed must be notarized to ensure its legal validity.
  4. Record the Deed: Submit the deed to the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the property is located.
  5. Pay Transfer Tax: Pay the real estate transfer tax at the time of recording.
  6. Update Property Records: Update the tax assessor’s office and any relevant property records (i.e., homeowner’s insurance policies).
  7. Obtain a Copy of the Recorded Deed: Get a certified copy of the recorded deed.
  8. Notify Interested Parties: Inform any relevant parties (i.e., mortgage company, HOA) about the ownership transfer.

Get Help From A Probate Lawyer

Transferring real estate can get confusing.

Our probate lawyers will make sure that you have correctly: 

  • settled debts and taxes
  • inventoried the estate 
  • picked out the deed types
  • filled out the deed
  • transferred the property into your name

If you do this incorrectly, you could: 

  • face estate litigation from other heirs
  • have an invalid deed and title issues
  • financial losses for you and the heirs
  • be personally liable for creditor claims on the estate
  • face fines and legal complications if you’re not compliant with Georgia laws

Fill out the form to talk to a probate lawyer today.

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