Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia

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 her own bank account. I understand in Georgia the spouse gets minimum of 1/3 of the estate. Is there any possibility that could change. For instance showing intentions of the relationship were wrong. Him agreeing to less? Or just any other possibility. If not and it has to be the 1/3 should I get an attorney or no because it the law and that’s what we are going to get regardless. She did not have beneficiaries on anything and she had incurred all assets 2 months before they got married. Please help as detailed as possible

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: 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 her children. If you are married when you die, the spouse gets 1/3. It does not matter when the assets originated or how he treated her. He could be in jail for beating her, and he would still get 1/3. That is why people create wills. They do not want someone to get something and they sign a will so that person will not get anything.

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