Questions Answered by Robert W. Hughes Jr.

Q: My Husband claims he can run up HIS Credit Card Debt, and I would not have to pay it if he dies first.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
You have to use any assets that are in his name to pay his debts. If he runs up his credit card debt, owns nothing when he dies, then he is telling you the truth. So, be very careful to make sure he truly owns nothing when he dies and you do not have to repay the credit card debt.

Q: I am executor to my deceased mother's estate. I need legal help to close her estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Mar 18, 2019
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
Closing an estate involves filing a Petition for Discharge. To file this, you must have paid all creditors, accounted for all administrative expenses and have distributed all property in accordance with the law or with the Will.

Q: We own 81 acres of land shared by 4 families not divided. Can property be sold if one family do not agree to sell?.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Answered on Mar 15, 2019
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
All OWNERS must consent to sell the property. If ALL OWNERS will not consent, you can file a petition to partition the land and then you can sell your interests in the property.

Q: Can I sell deceased dad's jewelry to pay probate court costs to petition the court to be Administrator?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Feb 25, 2019
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
There are far easier ways to accomplish your goal than what you laid out. That said, you cannot sell any assets until they are in your name or you are in charge of the estate.

Q: Petition to compel full accounting was denied by Georgia probate judge because of "failure to state a claim upon which

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Feb 5, 2019
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
Your question leaves me wondering if there is a trust or a will? To file a claim for a full accounting in probate court, the will must have been filed, admitted to probate and no less than 6 months have passed since the executor was appointed. If you are looking for an accounting for a trust issue, you must file that action int eh superior court of the county where the trustee resides.

Q: The best way to leave my daughter and not my wife my home without adding my daughter to the deed if my wife is on deed

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
Your situation is not unusual, but is certainly a sticky wicket. There are three ways to accomplish your goal.

1. Draft a will leaving a life estate to your wife with the remainder to your daughter. This creates possible accounting night mares if the will is not properly drafted. However, it will be effective for leaving the house to your daughter.

2. You can name you, your wife and your daughter as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. I assume your daughter will outlive...

Q: My dad passed away without a will and I'm The Only Living child. I am on disability and I am mentally challenged.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Dec 14, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
YES. This needs to be dealt with appropriately before you give away your rights to your father's land. Please contact an attorney specializing in probate work before it is too late.

Q: I lived in Louisiana but now live in Georgia - I created my will before moving several years ago. Is it valid in GA?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
As song as the will was witnessed by two people when it was signed, the will is valid. It would be better if it also contained a Self Proving Affidavit signed by a notary and meeting Georgia's standards. It would not hurt for you to pay a lawyer for 15-20 minutes time to review your document to assure you it conforms with Georgia law.

Q: Can I sue my step father for pain and suffering, for him throwing away/selling my deceased mothers belongings?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law, Intellectual Property and Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
You cannot sue for pain and suffering. You can sue for value of the property as well as suing him for interfering with the administration of an estate as an Executor de son Tort.

Q: My uncle passed away without signing his will.he only has one sibling living does she get his estate

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Answered on Nov 20, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
If your uncle died with a spouse or any children-ever-, then your uncle's siblings will share in his estate. If your parent, who was your uncle's sibling, passed away, you are entitled to inherit your parent's share of your uncle's estate. The same applies to your cousin.

Q: If my children father died wrongfully and the mother of the decent filed a lawsuit, do i have to be involved in it?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Answered on Nov 4, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
if you die wrongfully in Georgia, the surviving spouse of the deceased person has a right to file a claim for the wrongful death. If she recovers anything. she is required to share the recovery with the deceased's children. The children will get 2/3 of the recovery and the spouse will get 1/3 of the money. You should hire a lawyer to make sure your children who are his children share in the recovery.

Q: One of four residuary beneficiaries under the Will is missing. What do we do with his share?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Oct 4, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
The short answer is yes. You must maintain his share for him. You have to make a diligent search for him. This is an estate expense. Once you have given up trying to locate him, his money must be kept in the estate account. People are presumed dead after 7 years of no one hearing from him. You can petition the probate court to have him declared dead. At that point, his heirs will receive the money.

Q: My father died 7 years before my stepmother she never probated his-will. My father has 2 living children my stepmothers

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 14, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
It depends on whose name the house is in. If the home is in both parents' names, you will need to open an estate for each. Be aware that if your step siblings had children, they have an interest in the estate

Q: I am a co-executor of a will and the other person wants me to renounce my executorship. How would I know the will is

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 13, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
You will not know. Therefore, you should not renounce unless you want nothing to do with the estate. You must count on the beneficiaries to hold the executor's feet to the fire.

Q: Ga - Options to avoid quit claims from siblings when I am the executor and only named beneficiary in will - need help

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 10, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
You have a mess on your hands. You should never have opened the estate in common form. You cannot transfer real estate with a common form probate. You must open the estate in solemn form. If the will leaves the real estate to you, then you will not need quit claim deeds form your siblings. You simply need Letters Testamentary and a copy of the will for the closing attorney.

Q: Probate Question: Trying to sell a property with beneficiaries under 18

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 10, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
You mention you are an executor. Therefore, there must be a will. If the will gives you the power to sell real estate, you do not need anyone's permission. However, if the minors believe the property sold too cheaply, they can bring suit against you for an improper sale . The safe route is to get court approval. The court will appoint a guardian ad litem to review the sale for the children.

Q: I currently filed a wrongful death suit is the non custodial parent that's not legitimized entitled to any money?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 31, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
This is a very fact specific question. In some cases, the father can make a claim for the wrongful death of the child. It depends on the child's age at death and the noncustodial parent's involvement with the child.

Q: My father left a will, which states that I, his only child, is EXECUTOR, EXECUTRIX, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE, TRUSTEE

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 11, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
Your question is well past complicated. The entire will needs to reviewed by a lawyer specializing in probate law. You compound the issue by discussing grandchildren who might have a conservator. You make no mention of grandchildren as you quote part of the will. This question ought to be fairly straightforward for a probate lawyer to answer.

Q: Can a non custodial parent that has never legitimize a child file a wrongful death suit on the child?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 9, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
This is a very difficult question to answer. The best answer is that a judge should decide whether the father is entitled to any money. That protects you from an adverse situation if cut the father out and he later sues you and wins.

Q: My younger sister was assigned as my financial guardian. She threatening to put my townhouse in her name. Is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Answered on Jul 26, 2018
Robert W. Hughes Jr.'s answer
If your sister was appointed as your conservator by the probate court, she should place all of yiur assets into her name, as your conservator.

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