Q: A brother and his sister owns a piece of land together on which the home that he and his wife has lived for almost 40
years is located and he passes away, does his half of the land transfer to his widow protected her from loosing her home or does his half of the land transfer to his sister? Their home and the land is in the state of Georgia. There was no will.
A: If the brother and sister owned the property as joint tenants with survivorship, on the death of the brother, the sister would own the property under Georgia law. On the other hand, if the property were owned by the brother and sister as tenants-in-common, the brother's undivided interest in the property would be part of his probate estate. The administrator of an estate must satisfy certain obligations before distributing the estate to heirs. The widow would be an heir, as would be any of his children who survived him, and the descendants who survived him of any of his children who predeceased him. In Georgia, a surviving spouse also may file a petition for year's support and request that property in the probate estate be aside for her. This response is intended to provide general information only, and not legal advice about this matter. I recommend that you consult with a probate attorney in Georgia, who can advise you after reviewing all the pertinent facts.
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Because he died without a will, the wife will inherit at least 1/3 of his assets and his children will inherit the remaining 2/3 of the assets. If he has no children, the wife will inherit the entire estate.
If he owned one half of the house with his sister, and he and his wife lived in the house, and they owned the property as tenants in common, the sister and the wife now own the house together. If the sister wants to force the wife to buy out her half of the house, she can force the issue in court.
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