Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

My father passed away last year and was married. He left no will and the house is in his name and his wife but she is selling the house. Does she need permission from his children since he left no will?

Asked on 9/23/12, 10:59 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office

Maybe and maybe not. You chose not to give us the information needed to answer you. Was there a joint tenancy with right of survivorship (in which case the house is 100% hers to do with as she pleases) or a tenancy in common? If the latter, was there a probate, or a year's support proceeding, etc. When you leave out the basic facts there is no way to answer. Regardless, if the death was last year, you are almost two years overdue on hiring counsel and may have waited past the time to make various filings. That's why you see an attorney at the beginning of the process (you still should see one now).

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Answered on 9/23/12, 11:39 am

Probably not if the home was owned as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship (if he was in GA) or a tenancy by the entireties. If your father lived in a community property state (there is only a handful and most states are on the west coast or mid-west except for Louisiana) or he and the wife owned as tenants in common, then the wife would only own half the house and the other half would pass through the father's estate to his survivors, which would be the wife and children. Usually the wife would split with the father's children on a 1/3 (to wife) 2/3 (to children) basis. However, you need to consult with a probate attorney in the county/state where your father lived to see what portion of the assets the wife and children would inherit. Get a copy of the deed where the land is located and pay the attorney to review it and tell you how the land was owned and whether you would be entitled to any or none of it.

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Answered on 9/25/12, 12:11 am

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