Atlanta, GA asked in Probate for Georgia

Q: Ex-wife died 11 yrs ago, son w/same name different middle, has petitioned to open an estate in probate on the home in

both our names. The IRS and Fannie Mae have liens on the property. Is he spinning his wheels? Can I quitclaim her off the deed?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jammie Taire
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Snellville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: The answer is it depends but most likely not. If the deed has language that includes "joint right of survivorship" then the property passes to you by operation of law. Unfortunately, most deeds do not include this language. If the deed does not have this language then you will need to go through the probate process. In Georgia, when someone dies without a will, it is called intestate. If the person dies with a spouse and children, the property passes to the spouse and children, with the spouse taking no less than 1/3. In this case, if your wife only had the one child, the property will go equally to you and him. You would basically have a 75% interest (your 1/2 interest plus 1/2 of her interest) and he would have a 25% interest. Also, if you dispute him being named as the administrator then you need to timely file a caveat.

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