Intestacy Laws in Marietta

Creating a Will informs a Probate court as to what you want to happen to your assets after your death. But what happens if a person passes away without a Will? When these situations occur, the Probate court must apply the Intestacy laws in Marietta. These laws may also apply if a Will does not mention the entirety of a person’s property, or a court rules the document to be invalid.

These laws determine the property rights of family members to all assets not covered in a Will. This could result in an unfortunate splitting of property and familial conflict. As a result, it is best to avoid the application of the Intestacy laws by working with our talented attorneys at Nelson Elder Care Law.

The State’s Intestacy Laws

The Probate court has the sole authority to determine the rights of heirs after your death. The primary way to accomplish this is to follow the terms of your Will. However, the law also considers situations where a person does not have a Will, or the document is incomplete or invalid.

Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 53-2-1, the sole means to determine the property rights of heirs when a person dies Intestate is their familial relationship with the decedent. A person who dies with a spouse and no children will have their entire Estate given to that spouse. By contrast, having a surviving spouse and children will see those heirs receive an equal portion of Estate property, but at the minimum, a spouse receives a one-third share. Our Marietta attorneys can further explain the Intestacy statute and the property rights of surviving family members.

How Can You Avoid Intestate?

As explained above, it is crucial to avoid the application of the state’s Intestacy rules. The preferred way to do this is to ensure that your Will meets the state’s rules concerning formation and clearly lists the entirety of your assets.

The clearest situation under which a court may declare a person to be Intestate is when there is no evidence of a Will, written or otherwise. Here, there is little doubt that the Intestacy rules will apply. Partial Intestacy can also occur. This applies when a Will does not speak as to the full extent of a person’s assets. As a result, it is important that the document be as comprehensive as possible.

Finally, the court may apply the Intestacy statute in Marietta if it rules that a Will is invalid. This may occur as the result of construction errors or if a party alleges that the Will was the product of undue influence or fraud.

Contact a Lawyer to Learn More About the Intestacy Laws in Marietta

The Intestacy laws in Marietta serve as a default way to determine the property rights of family members after a person’s death. By statute, they distribute assets to spouses, children, and other relatives. This could result in a splitting of physical assets or conflict within families.

The only way to avoid the application of the Intestacy laws is to have a legally valid and comprehensive Will. This serves to override the Intestacy laws and ensure that the proper heirs receive the full benefit of being named in your Will. Call Nelson Elder Care Law to learn more.

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