Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

Is there something like a "widow's mite" under Georgia law? What are the minimum rights of a widow upon the death of her husband?

Asked on 11/25/15, 10:53 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

I have no clue what a "widow's mite" is. Georgia has rules allowing a spouse an allowance of a year's support from a deceased spouse's estate. The year's support granted to the surviving spouse and children is codified under Title 53, chapter 3 of the Official Code of Georgia.

O.C.G.A. 53-3-1:

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(b) Among the necessary expenses of administration and to be preferred before all other debts, except as specifically provided otherwise in this chapter, is the provision of year's support for the family.

(c) The surviving spouse and minor children of a testate or intestate decedent are entitled to year's support in the form of property for their support and maintenance for the period of 12 months from the date of the decedent's death.

The support is not automatic. A surviving spouse/children have to request it within 2 years of the date of death:

O.C.G.A. 53-3-5. Filing of petition

(a) Upon the death of any individual leaving an estate solvent or insolvent, the surviving spouse or a guardian or other person acting in behalf of the surviving spouse or in behalf of a minor child may file a petition for year's support in the probate court having jurisdiction over the decedent's estate. If the petition is brought by a guardian acting on behalf of a minor child, no additional guardian ad litem shall be appointed for such minor child unless ordered by the court.

(b) The petition shall set forth, as applicable, the full name of the surviving spouse, the full name and birthdate of each surviving minor child and a schedule of the property, including household furniture, which the petitioner proposes to have set aside. The petition shall fully and accurately describe any real property the petitioner proposes to have set aside with a legal description sufficient under the laws of this state to pass title to the real property.

(c) A petition for year's support shall be filed within 24 months of the date of death of the decedent.

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Answered on 11/25/15, 12:11 pm

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