Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

Property Laws on deceased spouse who left no will

What is the law in Georgia concerning a spouse who dies owning one half of property with the other spouse and no will has been left?

Asked on 12/10/97, 5:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Very likely the same as in many other states ...

but I'm not certain, so don't be afraid to call a local attorney! They'll give you an overview over thephone, probably.

Normally, the surviving spouse gets the property entirely.That there is no will makes no difference; the title, beingin both names and very likely with the "survivorship" featureimplicit in your state's laws, the property passes to the survivor as a feature of registered land titles. Wills governother kinds of things that people own, but usually not anything that has two people's names on it.

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Answered on 12/11/97, 2:06 am

Robert Friend Robert H. Friend, Attorney at Law

Deceased spouse owns property with surviving spouse

I can't tell you for sure about Georgia law (I'm licensed only in NC), but Georgia is a common law state (as is NC), and I would make an educated guess that the property was owned as a "tenancy by the entireties" (only husband and wife can own property in this exact way). If that were the case in my state, the real property in question would pass lock, stock, and barrel to the surviving spouse. In NC no deed is required for this. The recorded deed and the recorded death certificate would prove that the surviving spouse owns the property.

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Answered on 12/11/97, 2:31 pm

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