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My mother died intestate. I have two minor siblings. Can their father (ex husband) petition for letters of admin?

Marietta, GA |

My mother died 2 weeks ago in her home intestate. My half minor siblings are in the house. I'm afraid their father (ex of decedent) will try to petition and will cut out my inheritance. Asset is house. Deed in mom's name. Mortgage in his and her names.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    My condolences on your loss. I will assume, based on your post, that your mother's principal residence was in Georgia at her death, that she was no longer married to the father of her minor children, she was not remarried to anyone else, and the only children are you and the minors. If that is the case, then the father could try to seek appointment as the Administrator of your mother's estate, but he would not necessarily be able to do so without your consent. You could also try to seek appointment as the Administrator of your mother's estate (assuming you are not a minor). Having the father of the minor heirs appointed as the Administrator of your mother's estate would not cut off your rights as an heir, however. Whoever is appointed as Administrator is required to follow the law, pay off debts, administrative expenses, and taxes as appropriate, and then distribute the remaining assets (if any) to the heirs in accordance with the laws of intestacy. While an Administrator could act inappropriately or abusively, they aren't supposed to do so, and there are ways for heirs to protect their interests.

    What could cut off any potential inheritance for you is a year's support claim made on behalf of the minor children. Georgia law allows a surviving spouse or surviving minor child of a decedent to make a year's support claim against the decedent's probate estate. If the house and other assets owned by your mother became part of her probate estate, they are potentially subject to this claim. A year's support award could be the entire estate, some lesser portion, or nothing, depending on whether the request is challenged by other heirs or other interested parties and, if challenged, what the court decides is a reasonable award amount. Year's support awards get paid before unsecured creditors, many administrative expenses, and other heirs, so if most or all of the estate is awarded as part of a year's support to your minor siblings, you would effectively not receive much, if any, inheritance.

    You should consult an experienced probate attorney as soon as possible, so that you know your rights and how best to protect them. You should also consider whether you may want to seek appointment as the Administrator and whether to try to challenge any year's support claim which might be made. Timing may be very critical, so consult an attorney soon, and be prepared to move quickly, especially if anything does get filed with the probate court.

    Best wishes to you.

    This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any attorney-client relationship. The intent is only to provide general information. You should be aware that you cannot rely on this answer to provide you with any protection against tax penalties. You should always consult your own attorney in order to obtain legal advice.

  2. Get a Ga licensed lawyer immediately. Someone experienced in probate matters.

    Although Avvo makes it clear to consumers that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, some attorneys prefer to add their own disclaimers to answers. You can set your custom disclaimer here and it will be automatically added to your answers. Do NOT include any direct solicitations or contact information. The comments of the attorney are an opinion. You may not rely on this opinion, and if you do so you are at your own risk. Another attorney may disagree with this opinion. You must retain and consult with a licensed attorney so that you have a right to rely on the advice he or she gives you.

  3. Attorney DiSalvo has given you the best answer you will receive.
    The ex can petition but so can you.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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