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Questions Answered by Robert W. Hughes Jr.
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Biological and step-parent dies with no will, does the step-child have rights to the step-parent's property in Georgia?

The step-parent has living relatives: Mom and siblings

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Mar 13, 2024

The simple answer is no. But, when parent died, child would be an heir to her natural parent's estate. Depending on facts of case, an equitable adoption might exist between step parent and step child that would allow for inheritance. You should see a probate lawyer about that possibility.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: Can I ask the probate court to have someone return money that was stolen from estate?

Money was stolen from my fathers estate in 2015.I know the amount that was taken and who took it.I also have documented evidence to prove it.Is it to late to ask the probate judge to have this money returned?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Aug 8, 2023

The court cannot order someone to return the money. Even if everything you say is true and the thief admits it. The court can give the estate a judgment against the thief. That's all a judge can do.

If the thief was (is) the personal representative and under a bond, getting judgment...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Personal Injury and Probate for Georgia on
Q: How does a potential heir waive right to claim in Georgia

Deceased killed in accident. Surviving spouse seeks waiver of right of potential heir to receive assets or income from estate. What document is needed?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jul 31, 2023

This is far more complicated than it seems. If the spouse has a wrongful death claim, and elects not to pursue it, the claim goes away. No one else can pursue it. If she wants to pursue the claim, but does not want the money, she has to first get it, and then give it away, which comes with gift tax... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: if no beneficiary listed for life insurance and goes to estate, does it go to only one in the will or do all heirs get
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jun 29, 2023

The insurance company contract dictates who receives the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Some company contracts state the estate receives the proceeds when no beneficiary is listed. Other company contracts say the heirs or next of kin receive the proceeds. You first need to get a copy of the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My estranged husband died last week. His three kids, also estranged, have taken over his house and won't give me a key.

They are dividing all his things

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jun 24, 2023

Estranged? I assume you are still married? Was a divorce or legal separation pending? The answers to these questions s determine your rights.

Assuming you are married and no pending legal action, you are entitled to petition the probate court to open an estate. You are entitled to one-third...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: Can a claim be made against an estate for back child support owed before the death of a parent?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jun 20, 2023

The simple answer is yes. You must file a claim against the estate by notifying the personal representative and also filing that claim with the probate court.

The claim can be extinguished with an award of year's support so keep up with the progress of the estate through the probate...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My deceased mother is named as a beneficiary in my grandfather's will. They are three other siblings named as well.

Who gets my mother's part

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jun 19, 2023

It depends on how the Will is written and whether your mother died before your grandfather. If your mother outlived your grandfather and the will is a standard will leaving everything to the four children, then your mother's will dictates who inherits her share. If your mother did not have a... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: Hello- I am listed as a buyer on a vehicle loan, along with a co-buyer (NOT co-signer). The cosigner has died, without a

Cosigner has no will, and family does not intend to file probate as he had no assets. Am I able to sell the vehicle with his name still on the title? Or what do I need to do to be able to get his name off the title? Or does the car now belong to me?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Apr 8, 2023

It depends on whether your name is on the title. If so, you can probably take the title and a death certificate to tag office and get the car placed in your name.

If that doesn't work, you can foreclose on the car since deceased person will not be making payments. There is a statutory...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: I was denied rights to my inheritance because I was not legitimated.
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Mar 10, 2023

The laws concerning inheritance and whether you are an heir are very confusing. Legitimation is not required by law, but you have to be able to prove you are a child of the deceased, either through DNA testing or some other accepted means of proving your heirship. If you have already had a trial... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Personal Injury, Probate, Wrongful Death and Workers' Compensation for Georgia on
Q: Would an estate exist if there wasn’t a will?

My dad was killed at his job and we won the wrongful death case(meaning my mom sister and myself) rather the total be spilt between the 3 of us. My mom sat back an estate fund after that she split it 3 ways. My dad had no bills house paid for everything in his name was paid in full and clear. So my... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jan 2, 2023

Whenever someone does and at person owns real property, an estate must be opened in most cases. There can be a couple of exceptions. Wrongful death proceeds generally are payable to the heirs with a small sum of the money payable to the estate to cover final expenses of the deceased person. If... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: If a Judge has issued in order in probate court that can harm beneficiaries or heirs can I file a petition to Stay/halt

Can I file a motion or petition to stay or halt all proceedings until they rule on the Will? My cousin died 30 days aft mother & inherited her estate. Family members probated a fraudulent will. Judge is allowing administrator to distribute property which could belong to a beneficiary of the... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Dec 20, 2022

If a will has been admitted to probate, and you object, you have two options. If the court is not an expanded jurisdiction court, you can appeal the decision to the superior court in the county where the probate court is located. You must file the appeal within 30 days of the order admitting the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: I am an adult. My mother passed and dad wants all children to sign a paper giving him all legal rights to everything mom

Had. No will. In Georgia I thought everything goes to spouse when mom passes. Why do we have to sign a paper giving up our rights?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Dec 5, 2022

In Georgia, a spouse is entitled to no less than 1/3 of an estate with the remainder going to the children. In addition, the spouse can file for year's support and ask for whatever they want. You are not required to sign any papers related to the probate of your mother's estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Gov & Administrative Law, Government Contracts and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I’m a beneficiary of my father’s will, and I have been misled by his granddaughter who is the excuitor of his will what

I have no copy of the will but I was urgently forced to sign a document that she had, I never received any copy of it from her so I recently got one from the court and I am now trying to find out what I can do about it. I now understand that she has had me pretty much waive my rights to ask about... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Mar 9, 2024

You should go by the probate court where the will is filed and get a full copy of the probate file. It will include a copy of the will. Once you review it, if you believe something is wrong, contact a lawyer specializing in probate law to get advice.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My mom passed away in 2015. There was only a house left. I became the administrator because I live in the house.

There was no will. I have three siblings and my stepdad. My brother passed away right after my mom. He had no heirs. My stepdad and my other two siblings don't want anything to do with the property because they have their own homes. How do I close out the Probate so that I can get the... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Mar 7, 2024

You have a mess on your hands. You will need your the step-dad and 2 siblings to sign a disclaimer stating they do not want anything from the estate. If your brother who died has children, they are entitled to your brother's share.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: If executor petitioned court in solemn form and judge told him to amend petition and notify deceased siblings children

Because they were heirs and executor does not do this , what are the consequences ? The will was filed with the court ,but as far as I know it was never probated ?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Feb 12, 2024

The will isn't admitted to probate and the executor is never appointed until the heirs are notified. The petition will just sit there.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: Georgia law ? Can step siblings insist you have a DNA test to inherit your portion of the deceased father’s estate?

My mother and father were married for years before my birth, both listed on my birth certificate as parents. According to court documents they were divorced when I was 3 yrs old. I and my older siblings were listed as their children on the divorce decree. The decree also states that if he... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jan 5, 2024

If there is a court order declaring you a child of the deceased, and the parent died intestate, you are entitled to your share of the estate equal to your siblings share. You should consult an attorney specializing in probate work before you lose your rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: If my spouse has died and my name isn't on the deed, only theirs, how can I get the deed transferred to me?

Outside of death certificate, what forms do i need to fill out?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jan 5, 2024

Generally speaking, you have to open an estate to transfer real estate. However, you must share the estate with your spouse's children after paying all debts of your spouse. You could also file for a Year's Support.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: Does your office handle probate cases that involve a deceased sibling who has a savings account with a balance?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jan 4, 2024

Yes. However, a sibling is not usually someone who inherits from an estate. Your siblings who need to have no spouse, children or parents alive before a sibling is in a position to inherit from an estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: If a brother of a person in jail for the next three months suddenly passes away . Their mother is alive but 91 what

Happens to the deceased belongings.

A family friend has taken control of everything and trying to erase the existence of the one in jail. Selling a house belonging to the family. The control has been taken through lies and defamation of the incarcerated fueled by hate towards that... View More

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Dec 13, 2023

Assuming the brother who died does not have a spouse or any children, the mother will inherit everything. the brother in jail does not inherit anything.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: If no spouse, deceased only has pension, do all heirs share it or just the one in the will
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
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Robert W. Hughes Jr.
answered on Jul 12, 2023

It depends on the language in pension agreement. Some plans leave directly to heirs if no beneficiary is named. Others leave it to the estate if no beneficiary is named. You need to check with the pension provider to get you an answer.

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