Georgia intestacy laws determine what happens if someone passes away without writing a will in the state of GA. Learn more in this complete guide.
Georgia Intestacy Laws
One of the inevitabilities of life is death, and if you have not adequately prepared, your estate may be processed according to Georgia intestacy laws. If you have not created a will, the properties that you own alone, in your own name, will go to your closest family members under state “intestate succession” laws. This will generally transfer to your spouse, children, or parents, depending on your situation.
If you do not have heirs, your estate will “escheat” into the state’s coffers. This is a rare occurrence, as most estates eventually transfer to some relatives. As it is a complicated legal matter, it is best to refer to the advice of an attorney qualified in Georgia intestacy laws.
Navigating Intestacy Laws in Georgia
Intestacy laws in Georgia are mainly covered by Code § § 53-2-1 to 53-2-5. If an estate you’re involved with is facing intestate proceedings and you believe this to be an error, get assistance from a knowledgeable lawyer, such as the Law Office of Paul Black.
Understanding Georgia Intestate Law
When an individual passes away without a will, the estate he leaves is dispersed according to Georgia intestate law. Several of your most valuable assets will not be contained in your will and will not be affected by intestate succession laws. The most notable examples include:
- Co-owned property
- IRA, 401(k), or other retirement funds
- Life insurance proceeds
- Living trust Georgia property
- Payable-on-death accounts
- Securities held in a transfer-on-death account
Any of these assets will pass to the other owner or a different beneficiary previously named regardless of whether you had a will.
Georgia Intestate Laws: Succession After Immediate Family
Residents who pass away without leaving their estate to a partner or their children, Georgia intestate laws dictate that their property is dispersed to their living parents or siblings following in line for intestate estate law, in this order:
- Nieces and nephews
- Aunts and uncles
Addressing your estate planning early on can remove the anxiety involved with making your final arrangements and avoid the complexity of dealing with intestate law. Work with an attorney skilled in elder law in Georgia like Paul Black, who will provide a sensitive ear and expert advice.
Who Are Your Heirs at Law Georgia?
Heirs at law Georgia are determined based on the closeness in relation to the deceased member. Contrary to common belief, an estate does not pass to the federal government if somebody passes away without a will. If no lawfully acknowledged successors of an intestate decedent can be discovered, it is possible that an estate might “escheat” to the state.
It is essential to have a legitimate will so that you have control over where your property and resources go in the event of your death. For example, even if you don’t have immediate family, you might prefer that your estate pass to a beloved charity or a dear friend. Without a will, you don’t have those options and your property will pass to whatever family member is next in Georgia’s succession list, or to the federal government.