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My husband died there was no will. his children are all grown. my husband purchased plots before we were married.who owns them.

Conyers, GA |

my husband died without will.we purchased plots before we were married.they are in my husbands name.
all my husband children are grown.in another court case judge told his daughter
whatever was her fathers is now his wifes.
she still says they are hers.who do they belong to.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You need to do two things. First, read the contract as to who is the owner of the plots. There may be some language that clarifies this matter. If nothing is clear, you then need to look to the laws of intestacy in the state of GA, as that controls who gets what when there is no will. Do yourself a favor and hire an experienced estate attorney in your locale.

Hope this helps.

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Posted

When a person dies without a will in Georgia, the law of "intestacy" applies. Georgia law provides that if a person dies while married with living children (that is, at least two children), the spouse gets 1/3 of the property and the children split the remaining 2/3 equally among them - counting a share for any deceased child with living descendants. See OCGA section 53-2-1.

Thus, the simple answer is that if (1) you were legally married, (2) your husband owned the property outright and not jointly with another person, not subject to liens or options, etc., and your husband had more than one living child and/or deceased child with descendants then living, (3) your husband was a Georgia resident at the time of his death, and (4) your husband did not have a valid will at the time of his death, you are entitled to 1/3 of your husband's probate assets including the land you ask about in this question.

Of course, the specifics of your husband's estate and the property in question might lead to a different result if any one or more of the above facts is different or if there are ancillary agreements or contracts associated with this property. As such, you should consult with an attorney who can review the specific facts and advise you with regard to how best to proceed.

One option you may have by which you could obtain the property is through filing a claim of year's support. Assuming you (1) are a Georgia resident, (2) you were legally married to your husband at the time of his death, (3) your husband died less than 2 years ago, and (4) you have not yet remarried, you may be entitled to claim "year's support" and take 100% of the lots and/or your late husband's other probate property.

THIS COMMUNICATION DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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Posted

This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any attorney-client relationship.

First, please accept my condolences on the loss of your husband.

If the burial plots were located in a Georgia cemetery, and if your husband was truly listed as the sole owner of the plots (and not both you and him), and if your husband was a Georgia resident at the time of his death, then most likely you and your husband's children are all the owners of the plots, or will all be entitled to be the owners. Under Georgia law, if a person dies without a Will, survived by a spouse and one or more children, the spouse and the children are each equal heirs with regard to any property which passes into the deceased person's probate estate. Unless an asset passes directly to a beneficiary under a beneficiary designation or another owner under a legal right of survivorship, it will normally pass to the deceased owner's probate estate. The spouse and children as heirs take an equal share of the probate estate assets, after any debts, administrative expenses, and taxes are paid. The exception to the equal shares for spouse and children applies if there are more than two children - in that case, the spouse takes one-third (1/3), and the children split the other two-thirds (2/3) of the probate assets equally between them.

If there has not been an estate administration for your husband's estate, and if no order declaring no administration necessary has been granted by the applicable probate court, then the title to the plots is probably still in your husband's name. If you have not taken any formal steps to have the estate dealt with, you should consult an attorney experienced in estate administration to determine the best way to deal with it.

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