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How to find out if the deceased left a will or trust behind if the surviving wife wont talk or file in probate?

Lawrenceville, GA |

I have twins 6yr olds who father passed& his wife wont cooperate.

Attorney Answers 4


You see a lawyer. The children may be heirs, and also may have rights to file for years support. Delay may eliminate rights the children may have.

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Wills can be filed with the local probate court for safekeeping while the person is living, although that is not required, so you could check there first. The next step would be to file for letters of administration of the estate. If she does have a will, that will smoke it out. Regardless of whether or not he had a will, a years support filed by a spouse or on behalf of a minor child will trump a will in most cases anyway. See a lawyer to help you to make sure that your children's rights are protected, and to help isure that she is not disposing of property, as probate cases like this can be very nasty when one of the sides is being uncooperative.

The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation

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Using a petition for administration is a good idea. The wife would have to come forward to challenge the petition. This might help you get the Will out of her if there is one. Additionally, you can sometimes find info about a trust by searching real estate records. Often real estate is transferred into a trust. Finding a deed that does that would give you the name of the trust. Your children could be "creditors" of the estate and the trust, if there is one, if paternity and support obligations were established or can be established now. Visit an attorney quickly. There may be time limits on certain filings that may be beneficial to your children.

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I am very sorry about the loss of your children's father. This sounds a lot like the story of Cinderella where the evil stepmother favors her own interest over the interests of her stepdaughter. If a person does not have a will in Georgia they are deemed to have died "intestate." Under Georgia law, children are entitled to 2/3 of their deceased parents' property while the surviving spouse is entitled to 1/3 of the property. Minor children also have the right to "Year's Support" from their deceased parent. Anyone is permitted to file a Petition for Letters of Administration in probate court. I suggest you contact an experienced probate attorney to discuss the children's rights. Sounds like you need professional help depending on how much property is involved.

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