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Questions Answered by Robert W. Hughes Jr.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

Q: My father passed away and his estate is in GA. His second wife -not my mother- refuses to go to probate. I live in NJ.

Can a lawyer in NJ represent me?

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jun 18, 2019

You can represent yourself or if you want to be represented by an attorney, you must select one who is licensed in Georgia.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

Q: In Georgia for a probated will, must an outstanding mortgage be paid off before estate closure?

If real estate goes to one beneficiary and the residual estate goes to another beneficiary, does the mortgage on the real estate need to be paid off with residual assets, or can the mortgage be assumed by the beneficiary of the real estate? What options does the PR have? Can the PR seek an... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jun 11, 2019

This question requires more information. It could be that the mortgage must be paid from the remaining assets upon transfer. It also depends on how title is held currently held to the property. The estate remains liable on the mortgage if you simply transfer the oropteru without resolving the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on

Q: Not on mortgage or title. Newton Co GA states I cannot sell home w/out probating will despite being executor. T or F?

I'm executor of my husband's will and estate. I'm trying to sell our home in which I'm not on the mortgage or title.

Wells Fargo is telling me they will keep escrow if title is not transferred to my name but by law, cannot prevent me from selling my home and will give me all money less... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 17, 2019

You have no authority to act in place of your husband unless the court issues Letters to you. The court can't do that if you do not file the will for probate. You might consider filing a petition for year's support to have the house placed in your name. once it is in your name, you can sell it.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Georgia on

Q: I'm executor of my husband's will. I'm wanting to sell our home but not on mortgage & title. Do I probate will & title?

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 17, 2019

I'm not certain about your question. Since you are the executor of your husband's estate, I assume Letters Testamentary were issued to you. You are required to do whatever the will says do. If you are supposed to sell the home, then you simply sell the home. You do not need to be on the mortgage... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

Q: Do I need to open probate if the only asset in my husband’s name is a car worth <$10K? Can car be transferred to me?

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 1, 2019

If your husband has a will it is your obligation to file the will with the probate court. However it is not your duty to all for the will for probate. If the car is the only asset your husband has you should be able to go to the county tag office and sign an affidavit that will allow the tag office... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

Q: I am the executor of my mother’s will. My sibling is giving me the run around on signing consent to probate.

My sibling lives in Europe. There was a pay on death account for my brother and I contacted the investment firm to ensure they contacted my brother to make payment. The firm contacted him and my brother collected the money. However, I am the beneficiary of her home which I can’t sell unless he... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Apr 23, 2019

You can have the court serve him with the the proper papers and he will be given a time deadline in which to file his answer. If no Answer, then the petition will be granted.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

We have the House, etc. as joint ownership.

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Mar 21, 2019

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

I live in Savannah GA and Mama lived in Thomasville GA.

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Mar 18, 2019

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on

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?.

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Mar 15, 2019

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on

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

My father died in January with no valid will. I need to petition the court to be made Administrator and I have my petition papers for probate court ready to be filed so I can sell his only real asset - his car. As I thought about it, he also had some jewelry, not much, but some. I have no idea... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Feb 25, 2019

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

relief can be granted" is it possible this is due to the WILL not having been filed by the trustee in breach ? Would i the plaintiff in the case

need to file a new petition once the Will is filed? The petition included ample evidence of negligence and unresponsiveness to the beneficiary.

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Feb 5, 2019

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Georgia on

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

My wife wants to be added to my deed. I want my daughter to have the home after I die. Currently the home is empty and I reside in my wife's house with her. I want to leave my house to my daughter, but my wife objects. I have a daughter and she has a daughter and there's disaccord within the... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 2, 2019

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,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

My dad was married and had 10 acres of land and a home that was in both of their names and she passed away over 10 years ago and neither one had a will and my dad passed away a year ago and leaving me being his only living child. my Step Brother convinced me that it was for my best interest to give... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 14, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on

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

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 11, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law, Intellectual Property and Probate for Georgia on

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

My mother recently passed away, in her Will it states that my older sister, older brother and myself have rights to her belongings she's left behind. My step parent has took it upon himself to throw out her items left to me and my siblings. He's not listed in her last will and Testament to have... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 29, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on

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

I'm his neice can I get apart of his estate plus can my neice get apart since my brother has passed away

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 20, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Georgia on

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

I have two children from a past bad relationship. Me and my children got away from this relationship in 2007. We started a new and better life and didnt have much to do with the decent. 2 years ago my childrens father died in his apartment from a fire. The mother of the decent filed a lawsuit.... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 4, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

We know we'll have to provide an aff of diligent search at time we file discharge petition. Will we have to hold his part in trust?

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Oct 4, 2018

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

Kids preceded her in death. Her Will leaves the home to myself , brother, & stepbrother (deceased) I have been told both wills have to be probated separately: since there is a will is it even necessary to even go thru probate? I live currently live in the home, my brother lives in another state.... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Sep 14, 2018

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

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on

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

actually carried out as requested?

Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Sep 13, 2018

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.

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