Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

My father resently passed away with out having a will. I am his 2nd child of 3 however the oldest lives in newhampshire and the youngest is now living with our mother which i personal feel is not a health enviorment He is 17 and will be 18 in Nov. Now my mother is requesting a years worth of pension from the estate. I belive this to just be away for my mother gain control over her exhusbands estate and get payed. Now my father was in the process of sueing my mother child support, I have recipt of the bond hew payed to get her out of jail, and lastly my father has taken care of my brother for 9-10 years. Now the questions are when the question to take care of the estate came up I was the only one that would stand up and figured out a solution and now they are threating me about the decision I made what is best legal approuch. When things are settled should I ask for conpensation for all the work and travel I have and will incurr from maitaining the estate? thank you for the help DDH 2

Asked on 8/23/10, 7:41 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office also dba Glen Ashman Attorney

Your post makes it clear you don't understand Georgia probate laws at all, and you definitely need legal counsel.

Under Georgia law a widow is entitled to year's support if she files for it, and she can also file for the minor children. Often in year's support, the judge awards all or much of the estate.

Whatever is left is divided pursuant to law, and would be split between the mother and the children.

Where there is a disagreement like this, a caveat to the years support, along with a petition to administer, all may need to be filed. The deadlines are short and hopefuly you haven't messed things up by filing anything yet. Get a lawyer immediately (that means today).

Do NOT incur any expenses until you see a lawyer. You may or may not collect them back depending on what they are.

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Answered on 8/28/10, 7:54 am
Phillip M. Cook Cook Legal Services, LLC


I'm sorry to hear about your father's recent passing. If your father passed away without a will, his estate will pass "intestate", meaning that a Georgia statute will control how the assets of the estate are distributed. The statute basically tries to put itself in the position of the deceased to determine who would be the likeliest recipient of the estate. So, for instance, if the deceased is married at the time of death, the statute will give a certain percentage to the surviving spouse. If the spouse was not married or legally divorced, the statute looks to the children. If no children, then to the deceased's parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., etc., etc.

I'm unclear as to whether you have been formally appointed the administrator of your father's estate by the Court or whether you have simply "assumed" that role. You should not, under any circumstance, distribute or allocate any of the assets of your father's estate without FIRST obtaining approval of the Court. If you have already done so, you should hire an attorney, who may be able to arrange the return of the assets and avoid any potential civil or criminal claim against you.

Being an estate administrator is not an easy thing. Pony up a little money and obtain a lawyer to guide you. And to answer your question, if you are the Court appointed executor of the estate, you typically may reimburse yourself for expenses related to the administration of the estate....and in some cases, you can even pay yourself a salary. AGAIN, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR GUIDANCE.

Best of luck.*******The above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.*******

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Answered on 8/28/10, 7:57 am

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