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Amy Marie Yarkoni
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Amy Yarkoni’s Answers

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  • Is it possible to get a letter of administration without filing probate?

    My husband passed away it will be 3 years this August . All of his affairs I have taken care of except the mortgage is in his name . They won't talk to me unless I have a letter stating I am the administrator . My deed states joint tendency with t...

    Amy’s Answer

    I am sorry for your loss. There are at least two issues associated with your question one regarding administering an estate and the other appears to be related to be a communication issue with the mortgage company regarding your husband's note.

    First, letters of administration are issued by the probate court in the county where your husband was domiciled at the time of his death. You would need to file a petition for administration of the estate with the court (if there was no will; if your husband passed with a valid will, then you would file the will for probate, if necessary). You may or may not need to do this. I would strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney in your area before taking this step. Based on your statements in the post above, you may have no reason to open the estate for administration. If you are correct that there is a properly recorded deed that lists you and your deceased husband as joint owners with right of survivorship, then by operation of law the property is now yours; this is subject to the mortgage.

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  • Is it true in Georgia when there are not enough asssets in the estate that the law prioritizes which creditors are paid first

    My father passed away with no will .He had no assets except settlement money from an auto accident.There is not enough money to pay all creditors.Is it true that the law prioritizes how these funds are to be distributed with the spouse and any un...

    Amy’s Answer

    I am sorry for your loss. A surviving spouse and or a guardian on behalf of minor children can petition for a "year's support" allowance from the estate, however, the law does not on it's own set aside a year's support and a separate petition for this allowance must be submitted in lieu of or in conjunction with a petition to probate or for an administration. As Mr. Early stated, you should consult with an attorney for specifics and other details that may be beneficial when filing for a year's support.

    See GA. Code 53-7-40 (Revised Probate Code of 1998) Property of the estate to be liable for payment of claims against estate in following order (Georgia Code (2013 Edition)): Unless otherwise provided by law, all property of the estate, both real and personal, shall be liable for the payment of claims against the estate in the following order: (1) Year's support for the family; (2) Funeral expenses, whether or not the decedent leaves a surviving spouse, in an amount which corresponds with the circumstances of the decedent in life. If the estate is solvent, the personal representative is authorized to provide a suitable protection for the grave; (3) Other necessary expenses of administration; (4) Reasonable expenses of the decedent's last illness; (5) Unpaid taxes or other debts due the state or the United States; (6) Judgments, secured interests, and other liens created during the lifetime of the decedent, to be paid according to their priority of lien. Secured interests and other liens on specific property shall be preferred only to the extent of such property; and (7) All other claims.

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  • What are my options?

    Motherinlaw has life estate on property that would be my deceased husbands upon her death. We both live under one roof ( built & pd for an addition for her) Spilt all monthly bills. She is very close to needing constant care. It was always said t...

    Amy’s Answer

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    I am sorry for the loss of your husband. Regarding the potential situation with your mother in law's potential interest in the real property, I recommend you schedule an appointment as soon as possible with an estate or elder law attorney to discuss the circumstances. Bring documentation pertaining to your husband's estate, his Will or Trust, and the deed to the property. The language in the deed is important to determine if a life estate was created or if some other form of share tenancy or joint ownership exists. The calculus for the present value of a life estate is not complex math but it is a formula and not one half of the appraised value (which would be represent joint owners with equal contribution or a 50/50 tenancy). Invest in good guidance now to review the deed, other documents, and receive counsel on your specific circumstances -- you may find counsel has suggestions about how to obtain benefits that could help bring both sides of the family together regarding the care of your in law which may be welcome.

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  • My parents need to set up a Power of Attorney so in case they cannot manage their finances my sister and I can.

    Where can I get this form?

    Amy’s Answer

    Your parents can meet with an attorney who works in the estate planning practice area to discuss their assets and financial arrangements as well as who they would like to appoint to act as their financial power of attorney in the event neither of them is able to manage their own finances. The forms that are available online and in stores for such purposes are often executed improperly, completed by the wrong person and don't account for the specific assets types a person or couple have to manage. As another attorney mentioned, some institutions require their form or expect very specific language in a power of attorney document in order to allow it to be used. This is why knowing the assets that a person has (to be managed) is an important part of drafting clauses in a power of attorney document. Please have your parents contact an estate planning attorney for a consultation to discuss planning for the future needs for assistance with finances and medical decisions as well as the transfer of their property after they both pass.

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  • Man passed away unexpectedly. Ex-wife is still named as executor on will - never removed after divorce. what will happen?

    Will the will be null? Will the will still be legally binding? He is not remarried and has 3 grown kids. Will the will go into probate?

    Amy’s Answer

    The will is not null because of the divorce. However, certain provisions of the deceased will may be modified--or even revoked--by law by the divorce. For example, a bequest to the then wife (now ex-wife) may be revoked by the divorce if the will language was not written in contemplation of the divorce. When/if the ex-wife petitions the probate court to be appointed Executor, if you are an heir, you should receive notice and you may object to her appointment. If she is not interested in this role, you could request she renunciate and if one of the children is named as a successor executor that person can petition as the proper person to administer the estate. If no successor is named in the will an agreement between the 3 children as to who should serve may be the best option. The rules that can modify the terms of the will are not generally applicable to other non-probate assets. For example, bank accounts that are jointly owned and beneficiary designation forms on accounts that were not updated. I suggest you sit down with counsel and discuss the situation, the deceased assets.

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  • Owner of business died no mention business in will would co leasee /on license have right to business

    Owner of business died executor/brother of will is trying to get control of business I am on the lease and alcohol license I cook and manage business and have for many years had Verbal agreement that many know about what are my rights

    Amy’s Answer

    I have updated your practice area to include estate administration/probate since the nature of the question is the passing of the business after death. The restaurant/bar is likely captured under the residuary estate and depending on who that portion of the estate is bequeathed to may determine who receives the owner's share. You should speak with an attorney. Take the lease and license application with you. You can also obtain a copy of the filed will at the probate court in the county where the deceased lived at the time of his/her death if the brother has filed it for probate. If not, the brother does not ave the legal authority to act until the court appoints him.

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  • Does the executrix have a legal responsibility to divulge the asset(s) inventory before the entire probate process is complete?

    My mother died in June 2010. The probate process was started in January 2014. The attorney representing my mother's estate has advised me that they do not represent the heirs but only the estate. Thus, they would not meet my request for a listi...

    Amy’s Answer

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    That may depend on the language in the will itself, many wills waive the need for the Executor to file an inventory. However, if not waived, under Georgia law, a personal representative (the Executor) must prepare an inventory of all the property of the decedent and submit it to the court within 6 months of being provided with letters testamentary. OCGA 53-7-30 through 34. The level of the detail required on the inventory is probably in the discretion of the court. A larger issue appears to exist given the delay in probating the will for several years. I recommend you speak with a lawyer so s/he can review a copy of your mom's will (if you have one) and discuss options with you.

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  • Can you get a administrative letter from another county instead of the one you live in to save cost?

    I need a lawyer to get me a administrative letter but I live in a small town and the nearest lawyer is in Ala. I would like to get it did in Columbus Ga but I would lie everything to tae place in columbus Ga to save cost.

    Amy’s Answer

    The petition for an estate administration and or probate of the will needs to be filed in the county where the deceased person lived at the time of his/her death and/or owned property (a home, land, condo, etc.). For convenience, if this location is further away from you, your counsel can request an oath by commission to be administered in the county you live in assuming you are being appointed as the personal representative. The letters can then be mailed to you. This does not transfer the estate matter to your county. All filing and handling of the estate must still take place in the appropriate court. If the estate is in Georgia and you hire counsel s/he will need to be licensed in Georgia and can generally handle the paperwork via the mail with the court. You may want to look at the attorney listings on the state bar of georgia website for an attorney who is a member of the fiduciary section and is closest to your area and give him/her a call.

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  • If my self employed husband defaults on any personal guarantee business loans, are our personal joint assets at risk?

    My husbamd is a small business owner. He frequently personally guarantees loans received. if he ever defaults on any of these loans, are any of our personal assets at risk (property, accounts, stocks, retirement, cash, etc)? If so, how can we p...

    Amy’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, it is possible and probable that at least part of your personal joint assets are at risk; that is the purpose of a personal guarantee. Proper estate planning and business succession planning will highlight a number of the factors that can come into play in the event of a default (due to death or incapacity).

    Balancing how and by whom assets are owned, owning assets in trust, and other planning options can reduce your risk related to certain creditors. If there are existing assets leveraged with a personal guarantee and you and/or your husband anticipate a default, I strongly recommend you work with an attorney before transferring assets that would affect existing creditors rights to ensure the transfers are not deemed fraudulent.

    Start the business planning process now with good legal, insurance, financial and tax advice and maybe there will be fewer or no personal guarantees in the future.

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  • Papers for Georgia

    What papers must be filed in Georgia for a home title that was put in two names, such as John Doe and Jane Doe. Jane Doe has passed away and he is wanting to sell the house. He has been the sole occupant and owner since her death. He does have ...

    Amy’s Answer

    It depends on the title itself. The word "and" is not the important verbiage, you need to know if the deed was held as joint owners with right of survivorship or as tenants in common. The latter will require probate to resolve the ownership and title before the property could be sold. You should meet with a probate attorney and take a copy of the deed so it can be review and the status of her estate discussed.

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