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Nathan Alexander Hartman
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Nathan Hartman’s Answers

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  • If I sign a petition seved to me for a year support, will I be signing my rights away as one my deceased father's heir?

    My father passed away and there was no will. My stepmother filed a petition for year support. She wants me and my siblings to sign this petition but we are not sure what we are signing. We don't know if we are signing over our rights or what to .

    Nathan’s Answer

    A petition for a year's support is a request made by the surviving spouse of a deceased person requesting property from that deceased person's estate (see Georgia Annotated Code section 53-3-5). If the heirs of the estate sign off on the request for support (or alternatively, do not object to the request), a court will enter an order setting aside the assets requested by the surviving spouse (see Georgia Annotated Code section 53-3-7). As the other attorneys have mentioned, this could be most or all of your father's estate. Before your siblings and you sign anything at your step-mother's request you should have a lawyer review the document in question so you do not accidentally give up a large portion of your inheritance.

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  • My step sister made her self power of medical decision dealing with the death of my father with the funeral home.

    and they believed her even though my father gave them my sister name as the person to contact when he die.Now her name is on the death certificate and the bank want let me close out my father accounts because of this, they say she have to be the ...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Your sister could not have given herself the power to make medical decisions for your father - your father would have to have given your sister that power. More so, even if your sister did have a power of attorney or authority under a health care directive (which is what a "power of medical decision" sounds like), that power would expire at death. Being on someone's death certificate does not give that person power to access or control a decedent's bank account. If your father had a will then your father probably named someone as a person who would deal with and distribute his assets. If your father did not have a will then this is an issue you would bring up with probate court, though typically the bank account would pass through Georgia's laws of intestacy. Regardless of whether your father died with or without a will, you really should contact an attorney.

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  • Is a old will that I created years ago from a pc attorney cd-rom valid even though it was never recorded or probated?

    Just answered questions on a computer & the program put all the legal words in place

    Nathan’s Answer

    Wills are not recorded or probated until after your death. Your will is valid so long as it was properly executed and attested (witnessed). Under Georgia law, a will is validly executed if it is 1) in writing (which it sounds like your will is); 2) signed by you; and 3) is signed by two competent people (preferably who are not people who will receive anything through the will) in your presence (see the Georgia Annotated Code section 53-4-20). If you did all of those things with your cd-rom will then it is technically valid. With that being said, many online forms do not take into account varying state laws and how those laws change over time, so it would be in your best interest to have a lawyer go over your will for you. Spending a little money on making sure your will is well-drafted will save your family a lot of potentially hassle, time and money.

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  • How do I acquire the personal property of my mother?

    My step-father passed away in March, 2011 and my mother passed away in May, 2011. The personal property of my mother was not addressed in her will or in my step-father's will. In other words currently those items do not belong to anyone. Howeve...

    Nathan’s Answer

    There are two possible answers here. 1) Generally wills have a residual clause which "captures" and distributes parts of an estate not expressly addressed in other parts of the will (such as your mother's personal property). If this is the case (read your mother's will and look for language in it that talks about the "residue" of the estate or distributing "personal property") then that property passes under the distributive language in the will. 2) If the will does not distribute the personal property of your mother than it will pass via intestacy. In Georgia, this would mean that her personal property would pass equally to your siblings and yourself in equal shares (or if you have a sibling who has passed to their decedent(s), with that sibling's share divided equally among those living decedent(s)). If your step-father and mother had any children, those children (half-siblings) would be treated the same as you and your siblings for purposes of dividing your mother's personal property. To see the Georgia statute dealing with intestate property distribution see the Georgia Annotated Code section 53-2-1.

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