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Questions Answered by Robert W. Hughes Jr.
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: I have 2 minor sons whose father died last year. He had life insurance and left money for both of them in their names.

The company put the money in an account for them which I cannot touch. I need access to this money for daily living expenses since I can no longer collect child support. What, if anything, can I do?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 22, 2020

The companies should not have placed the money into accounts for the children. You should file for a conservatorship and claim the money. You also should be getting social security checks for the children to replace the child support. You should seek the help of a lawyer with knowledge of these... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: My brother passed away in GA. He was a homeowner & we were told we had to post this in the local paper for 90 days, why

Is this for local debtors only?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 19, 2020

I'm not sure what "this" is? If you were appointed administrator, you have to run a Notice to Debtors and Creditors in the local newspaper. The ad runs for 4 weeks and generally costs about $80 to run.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My mother committed suicide in November 2019. I need help with how distribution of the estate

she wrote a letter saying she could not find her living will. We have been unsuccessful in finding it as well. She listed where her assets so go. She listed at the end that her current husband (only 9months married) is entitled to nothing and she wants him to get nothing. She has stocks, a car and... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 17, 2020

Because your mother died without a will, there are no considerations given for what she told others she wanted. Nor do her handwritten notes have any bearing on how her estate is to be distributed. You are required to distribute 1/3 of the estate to her spouse and divide the remaining 2/3 among... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My husband passed last week; WWII vet. Will specifically excludes other relatives; I'm heir and executrix.

No estate; we have joint checking act. for Social Security, home joint tenants with survivorship, do not own car. He DID have 2 credit cards I can't pay.I'm not on them at all. Do I have to probate in Georgia due to credit cards? Thank you.

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 16, 2020

You only have to offer the will for probate if there is property needing transfer required by a probate court order. Therefore, all you need to do is file the will with the probate court and tell the judge it is not for probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My dad died intestate and I am the only son. What form do I file to obtain access to his safety deposit box?

We closed out bank accts with an affidavit but they will not allow us to access the safety deposit box.(we have both keys) We were told we could transfer truck title with an affidavit as well so what form do i file to just get contents of the safety deposit box?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 10, 2020

There is no form. You need to file a petition to open safe deposit box for the purpose of inventorying the contents and search for a will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I was a care taking for a lady with dementia. A lawyer has been granted conservatorship over her. I no longer care

for her, but am owed over $2000 in wages. First the lawyer told me he had to get on her account, then he said her had to put money in a conservatorship account and now he says he has to get approval from the court before he can pay me. It's been 3 months. What is the truth?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 2, 2020

Everything you have been told is accurate. You can ask the lawyer for a copy of the documents he filed in court to get approval to pay you. You can also ask the probate court for a copy of the document he filed for permission to pay you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: What form needs to be completed and signed by the heirs of a deceased parent to release their interest in real property?

the will has been filed with the courts but was not taken to probate. will named spouse as beneficiary. The real property is occupied by the spouse and she is trying to refinance but needs to have the property title put in her name as it was only in her deceased husbands name.

property... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 30, 2019

You have two choices. You can probate the will and transfer the real estate to the spouse by way of the Will. You can also have the spouse file a petition for year's support and ask the court to give the house to the spouse. These are the only ways to get the property transferred to the surviving... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Dad passed, married to my stepmom 5 years. My brother took his vehicle and won’t give back. How do we get it back?

My brother has taken a car that is registered in both dad and stepmoms name. How do we get back without causing family issues?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 13, 2019

This is a probate question, not estate planning. The question is very easy to answer until you throw in that last phrase. Whatever you do is going to cause family issues. If you ignore the problem, I assume the auto insurance will lapse, your brother will be arrested eventually for driving an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Is Probate or any other process (legal or otherwise) needed when there's a notarized Last Will and no real property?

My mother passed away Thursday. She has a Last Will created and notarized in 2008, listing my brother and I as inheritors (both 18+). She lived in an assisted living facility in GA, owned personal property but no real property, and received regular deposits from SSA-Disability and State Teachers... Read more »

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

You are required to file the original will with the probate court, but not for probate. Whether you need to offer it for probate depends on the amount int eh bank account. If there is less than $10,000 in your mother's bank account, the bank should divide the money between you and your brother.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I am an only child.Dad's estate is approx.$25,000.No other heirs.He died intestate.Can I file Small Estate affidavit?

Dad died here at my home in Cherokee County. He has a 2007 Nissan truck in my driveway and he has 2 bank accts with about $8000 in each. That is all! No other possible heirs! No debts, no creditors! Do I have to file for Letters of Administration or can I file Small Estate?

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

Georgia does not have a small estate affidavit. However, you can go to each bank and the bank is required to give to the heirs all sums under $10,000 in the bank. This is in accordance with O.C.G.A. 7-1-239. You will need a death certificate and you will need to sign an affidavit the bank will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: How long does a beneficiary have to file a death claim in ga
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 24, 2019

I guess that depends on who you are filing it with. You certainly should file a claim within a year of knowing that someone has passed away. I am not sure if you are asking about opening an estate in probate court, or filing a claim on a life insurance policy or countless other places where a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: If my dad did not leave a will is the house that he owned with my mother also the heirs home now as well? I'm Prob Admin

My dad did not leave a Will. I am the Probate Administrator now. I am going through the laws around the appropriate measures to take for my mother and three adult children. His house is in Carroll County Georgia. We were told that the house he owned with my mother is also now ours as well... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 22, 2019

You really should hire an attorney for some advice about estate administration. That said, it seems your father owned the house by himself. If so, because he died without a will, the house belongs 1/3 to your mom and 2/3 to the children. The children can give their share back to the mother, they... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: I received an Acknowledgment of Service and Assent to Probate Instanter, today. Is it really necessary that I return it?

I am the only other heir that received it. I was omitted from the Will, which is fine by me. My sister didn’t even notify any of family members of the passing of our Father

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 7, 2019

You are not required to sign any documents. If you choose not to sign and return the documents, a sheriff will serve the documents on you. Even then, you are not required to take any action. If you don't object to the will, your signature will allow the process to proceed more smoothly and quicker.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: A wife filed for divorce, but before completion, the husband dies without a will. who can execute in probate?

The husband has no living kids and the wife can't be the executor because she has a pending divorce. Should she dismiss the divorce action to be the executor, or is it not quite so easy?

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

the divorce is automatically dismissed at his death when you let the superior court know he died. File for administration and ask that county administrator be appointed as personal representative. Wife will inherit all assets. A year's support might be a better option that administration. See a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: How long does it take to get letters of administration from DeKalb county Court in Georgia?

I am the named executor in a very simple will for a recently deceased relative who just had some cash and a few belongings. I have already filed the will and all necessary papers, but I'm getting answers all over the map about how long it takes to get the letters testamentary in order to begin... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 3, 2019

It depends on whether all the heirs signed the Acknowledgment of Service and Assent to Probate Instanter. If so, you will have letters in less than a month. If everyone did not sign off, then service has to occur and it will take months to get letters.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: My mom moved from GA to NC with me, we recently went to get a new license plate for her but we could not because the

title of her car had her name and her deceased husband's name on it with no and /or beside the name. The plate office told us to go to the clerk of court with a will and death certificate. When we got to the clerk of court they told us we had to go to GA as the title was in GA but we are a... Read more »

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

Nope. You need to ho to a tag office in the county where your parents lived. Your mom needs to bring the car title and the will. They will put her name only on the title. Then go back ton NC and transfer title to NC.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: I'm the only living heir to my dad's will before he passed he told my aunt that I will be left all he had but his sister

Who lived with him is hiding the will..I need to know how to recover a copy of the will so I can get the process started..I'm 38 with Congestive heart failure and stress is not healthy..I just need some direction on how to start this process

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Oct 31, 2019

That might be the best answer you could hope for. Without a will, and assuming your Dad was not married when he died, and you are his only child, you get everything. However, if there are other children who died before your dad, and those children have children, then you will share with those... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Does Georgia require a witness in addition to a Notary for a Living Trust?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Oct 30, 2019

Trusts should be witnessed and notarized, not necessarily to be effective, but to insure the trust's ability to transact business moving forward. If the trust is going to transfer land, then it needs to be notarized. The presence of a witness further ratifies the validity of the trust. A living... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: In the State of Georgia when can a guardianship for a child turning 18 be filed.

I need this to be in effect on the day he turns 18 due to intellectual disability.

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Oct 30, 2019

You can file for guardianship at any time. Certainly, if you are worried about SSI or other benefits flowing to your child when he reaches adulthood, you should start now. The process takes about 2 months. We usually start seeing people when the child is about 17 1/2 to start helping with the... Read more »

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