Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

What happens in the event of a death and no will is present and children are alive? What has to be done in order to take care of estate, i.e. Selling of house.

Asked on 8/08/14, 12:03 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Harold Holcombe Harold D. Holcombe, P.C.

VERY VERY GENERALLY, IN GA an heir files a Petition for Administration and asks that an administrator be appointed. The administrator is usually one of the children. The petition is generally acknowledged by all the children and its best if they agree on the person they are selecting. Once selected, the administrator must get to work, file inventories, usually get a bond, etc, to manage the estate and make sure that the proceeds are distributed in accordance with GA law. With a will the estate can usually avoid a lot of this paperwork, but if you don't have a will, you have to go through all of this. This question would take a hundred of pages to answer, as there are contingencies, situations, and things to deal with in managing an estate. And, by the way, if you're the administrator, you have a fiduciary duty to manage the estate in accordance with GA law, and if you don't, you could get sued. That's why you have the bond. I suggest you find an estate attorney to help you with this. Sometimes you can fix things when they go wrong and sometimes you can't. Get it right from the beginning and you don't have to worry about that.

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Answered on 8/08/14, 12:13 pm
Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office also dba Glen Ashman Attorney

Depending on whether there are debts or not, what assets there are, and how agreeable the heirs are, you may either be doing a formal Administration in probate court or a cheaper No Administration Necssary. Making that choice will affect the costs, and you need a lawyer to advise you. In some cases you can avoid the bonds, etc that Mr. Holcombe referenced. But the key first step is to see a lawyer - be it me or someone else answering you here - as you will want to do this right. Even a small mistake can be a catastrophe and get you sued.

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Answered on 8/08/14, 1:15 pm

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