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Questions Answered by Robert W. Hughes Jr.
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: I am executor of my mother's estate. I live in Savannah. Should I use lawyer from which place?

I need help looking at Mama's account and taxes. There is probably just the house and some shares in some family stock. Hopefully I will be able to use phone conferences.

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

probate matters are the same throughout the state. Only on rare occasions is a court appearance needed. Otherwise, you can use a lawyer from anywhere who is licensed to practice in Georgia. You should look for a lawyer experienced in probate administration.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My brother passed away May 22, 2020 He had no will or power of attorney. How do we start the probate process?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jun 24, 2020

If your brother resided in Georgia, his wife or children need to determine if he has assets requiring a probate being opened. For instance, if he has bank accounts exceeding $10,000 or real estate then they will absolutely need to either open an estate or file for year's support (if the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My father passed away recently and his will is 20 years and 3 spouses later. And only names 2 of 3 heirs. Is it valid?

He has well over one million dollars worth of assets. And the will is only one page. It's extremely vauge to say the least. I am now being pressured to sign "acknowledgement of service..." and am unsure how to proceed.

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jun 21, 2020

on the surface, nothing you said makes the will invalid. Ex-wives are excluded as though they predeceased if they appear in the will. If a child was born after the will was signed, he might still be included. You should seek legal guidance before acknowledging service and asserting to probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My father passed away 2yrs ago, no will. My step mom put his house in her name after his death but has since vacated.

Can I contest this claim?

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

I don't have enough information to advise you. If the house was owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, she owns the house. You are free to open an estate for your father and investigate what happened to his estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My sister's husband Hass passed away . She received a letter from his dad's attorney to sign over estate. How do I find

What is in the estate?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jun 8, 2020

You should never sign any document you receive without fully understanding what you are signing. You should hire a lawyer to explain to you exactly what you are signing. For this very limited purpose, a lawyer should need about 15 minutes to review what you have been given and explain it to you.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Q: Probating 3 different estates, all revolving around 1 piece of property that is located in another state?

My mom's parents owned a home together in GA (w/o rights of survivorship). They had 3 kids (#1, 2, & 3). Kid #1 died in 2001 & has 3 children. My grandma then died in GA in Sept 2003, presumably leaving her half of the home to my grandpa & her children/grandkids.

Kid #2... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jun 3, 2020

First, get a lawyer to help you through this. By the time to finish with all the issues that will arise, you will find that a lawyer will save you time, and at the end of the day, money. You can only open a probate in the county where the deceased person lived. There are some rare exceptions to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Can you will a car to your wife and then to someone else after wife's death if wife had transferred title and ownership?

Man dies leaving car to his wife who then takes full ownership titling it in her name. Man also puts in will that upon wife's death his son is to have the car. If the car is legally the wife's now, is this even legitimate?? Does the son have a claim?

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

If the man willed his car to his wife, and she put the car in her name, she is free to do whatever she wishes with the car. She is not required to then pass the car along to the son.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: How do I get it if he won't communicate with me?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 30, 2020

Send certified letter to him. If he continues to refuse to communicate with you, you can file a petition with the probate court.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: In 2006, I legally declared my husband with court order of Presumption of Death/Missing in Cobb County Ga. due to

missing since 2004, it has been almost 15 years now and i need to know how to get him legally declared dead with certificate to take care of Social Security. what are my options or information on how to do this?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 28, 2020

There is a process in probate court to have a missing person declared dead. You in all likelihood need to retain a lawyer to help you with this. You should interview lawyers who have experience with this kind of matter and who practice mostly in the probate courts. It is a rare petition to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Can there be co-administrators of an intestates estate in Georgia?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 21, 2020

Yes. While it is usually not advisable, it is legal. When there are co-administrators, they both have to be around to sign all documents and checks. You will be hard pressed to find a bank that will allow you to demand two signatures on a check. Also , without proper language in a will, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: How much does a probate lawyer typically cost in GA?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 17, 2020

That is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many levels of help. Rather than worrying about how much the lawyer is charging, interview several lawyers across the state, ask what they charge and what services they offer. Choose to hire the form lawyer offering you the best... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: The executor of my grandfather estate is 77 years old can we petition the court for the granddaughter to be one

The executor is the sister of the grandfather and is not paying taxes on property and trying to sell when the rest of the beneficiaries do not want to sell.

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

Because she is 77 years old is not a reason to remove her as executor. Not doing her job is a reason to remove her. If the estate is more than 6 months old and she should have concluded her duties as executor by now, you need to file a petition to settle accounts. If there is a good reason why the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: My father moved to Georgia from North Carolina six months ago. He passed away recently. Which state do I file probate?

He passed in a nursing home in Georgia where I live.

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 14, 2020

You will file for probate in Georgia, in the county where he lived.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: I’m a trustee of my fathers estate he passed in 2015. I gave a copy of the trust to my mom as the second trustee

I gave her a copy. There are no more beneficiaries. Do I have any exposure. I have a sister and a half sister. They were not listed in the will or the trust. Do I have legal requirements none petitioned his death at the time. And from what I was told were not required to have a copy of the trust.... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 13, 2020

This question is way beyond the scope of a proper answer. The answer depends on the trust language, the will language and any amendments. If you are the sole trustee and are concerned with what happens when you die, a consultation with an estate planning lawyer is appropriate. Something has to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Adult guardianship petition (adult with autism, disability diagnosis) question.

Does Georgia law permit a probate court judge discretion to 1) refuse to order an evaluation by a physician, psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker, 2) If no, does the State of Georgia recognize the guardianship order, and 3) prohibit, or even have the authority, to deny an application... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 13, 2020

1. An evaluation is required by law and the court cannot simply order that it not occur.

2. The State of Georgia along with all people and entities must recognize the Order

3. As for prohibiting or denying an application for services, that is not connected to the guardianship...
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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Georgia on
Q: In families with >1 kid who is responsible? A exclusions single parents?

I am the oldest of 4 adult kids, and single mom to a teen. I can no longer provide the financial and physical support for my aging mom ( turns 70 in Jan) as I have for the past 14 years. My other 3 siblings have no children, although the next oldest is married. Can I be sued for asking Mom to move... Read more »

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

Seems kind of cold on Mother's Day, but you are free to evict any adult in your home who is not on your lease or your title. Tou will go to the magistrate court in your county and file for a dispossessory.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Can my husband legally move into his father's house if he had no will in Georgia and siblings can't be located?

My husband has being paying the property taxes for the last 5 years, doing the upkeep of the property. My father in laws wife is in a nursing home with dementia.

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on May 1, 2020

No. Your husband needs to file to open an estate for his father in the county where his father lived. He should attempt to be appointed administrator. Once he is appointed administrator, he can determine what the next decision for the estate should be. It is not to move into the house.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Georgia on
Q: Should my brother pay back rent to the estate? He’s been living in my deceased grandparents home for over two years.

My brother has been living off my grandparents for several years. When they passed away, they did not leave the house to him. The will states that their assets be divided 50/50 among my brother and myself, including the house in which he’s continued to live in for free. He’s paid no rent to the... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Apr 30, 2020

It is very difficult to give you an answer to a question that is pending in court right now. You and your brother have all sent lots of papers to the court to review. You posted a simple question here. Rent may well be owed, but it will be offset by repairs and additions to the house that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Can I stop my brother from stealing inheritance money?

Over 5 years ago my father told my oldest brother and sister that he wanted to leave the house to me since I had been taking care of him for over five years as his caregiver. They fully gave their blessing. Without my knowledge, another very untrustworthy brother that my father purposely left out... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Apr 30, 2020

I cannot tell from your question if your father is still alive or not. If your father is alive, all he needs to do is change his will again to reflect his true wishes. What someone tells you during life is unenforceable when that person dies unless it is in his will. If your father is dead, and if... Read more »

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