Surviving Spouse Rights In Georgia

Surviving Spouse Rights In Georgia

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If your spouse has passed without a will:

  • what are your rights 
  • what will you inherit
  • will you be taken care of
  • what if there is drama with the kids

We will explain all of this so you know exactly what to expect.

Georgia’s Intestate Laws

The first thing we will cover is how much of the estate you’ll get. 

When your spouse does not have a will, the estate gets split up per intestate laws.

There are two scenarios you’ll face: 

  • There are kids: The estate is shared equally, but you get at least one-third.
  • There are NOT kids: 100% of the estate goes to you. 

Surviving Spouse Rights

Georgia has inheritance laws that protect spouses, like: 

  • Entitlement to a Portion of the Estate: You’ll get at least ⅓ of the estate, but up to half. 
  • Year’s Support Allowance: The estate can support you for up to a year after their death. (You have to file a petition within 24 months of their death.)
  • Elective Share Rights: You’re entitled to ⅓ of the estate – even if your spouse left you out of the will. (You have to file a petition within 6 months of their death.)
  • Homestead Rights: You can continue living in the family home without losing it to the estate’s creditors. 

These rights protect you from children trying to keep you from inheriting anything

Does The House Automatically Go To The Spouse After Death?

The house only automatically goes to a surviving spouse if the house is: 

  • owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship
  • in a trust and the surviving spouse is the beneficiary of the house

Property does not automatically go to a surviving spouse. 

The property will have to go through the probate process in most cases. 

What If The Heirs Are Trying To Force Me To Sell The House?

As a surviving spouse, you have the homestead rights that protect you. 

They give you the right to continue living in the house.

The surviving spouse cannot get forced out by: 

  • children
  • creditors

But, you have to file a petition to get homestead rights. 

The courts will give you either: 

  • permanent protections
  • temporary protections

After you pass or the temporary period is up, the house will get passed to the kids. 

If you’re given permanent rights, you have a lifelong right to the home.

Get Help From A Probate Lawyer

Protecting your rights can get confusing and complicated.

Our probate lawyers will make sure that you: 

  • don’t mess up your petitions
  • aren’t being taken advantage of
  • don’t lose your home
  • are protected by your legal rights

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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