Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

My syep father passed away & had handwriiten will name me as exc. of estate. Giving everything to my son who is 10 years and me over it until he is 18. He remarried in Nov 2011. His new wife does not want me or my son to have anything as stated in his will. States that everthing he had was bought & paid out of their martial funds, which is not correct. The dining room set my mother bought over 20 years ago. as well as the master bedroom set. And the tools he used all of his life as a mechanic. Also he bought new motor cycle with the money from my mothers insurance after she passed in 2010, he also bought new truck in 2009. She is fighting me all the way on this. What can I do?

Asked on 6/04/12, 2:30 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office

The first thing you do is get a lawyer to determine if the will is even valid, and, if it is, what to do with it.

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Answered on 6/04/12, 5:47 pm

This was your step-father? In that case, you and your son do not have a right to inherit from the man and the new wife would be entitled to the step-father's estate unless the will is valid. I agree with Attorney Ashman that you need to go immediately to a probate attorney in the county/state where your stepfather resided at the time of his death to determine if this will is valid or not.

You don't indicate where your step-father lived. If outside of GA, many states have elective share laws and even if the will is valid, the new wife may be entitled to a share of the property if the will was made prior to or after marraige and made no provision for her. Was there a prenuptial agreement between your step-father and his new wife by chance? If so, pershaps the new wife waived any interest she might have in the estate. However, you still need to make sure the will was valid as assets will not pass to you otherwise.

When your mother died, did she have a will? If not, then you and your stepfather and any other siblings would have shared in your mother's property, depending on what she had. Regarding insurance, if the step-father was the beneficiary, that money was his. It will pass per his will if valid.

This case illustrates why people should not make handwritten wills. One's legacy should not be a lawsuit. Spend the few dollars on a properly drafted will.

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Answered on 6/04/12, 10:36 pm

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