If you have children – you need a will.

Protecting Your Family

Most people assume that if you pass away without out will that your spouse receives all of your property.  Well, this is a matter controlled by state law and in Georgia that is not entirely true.  The GA rule says that your estate will be divided equally among your immediate family, including your spouse and biological children.  Due to the elective share rule, your spouse cannot receive less than 1/3 of the estate.  So, if you have 3 or more children, the spouse will receive 1/3 of the estate and the other 2/3 will be split among the children.  This is a problem for many reasons.  A minor child (under the age of 18) cannot take and own property outright under Georgia law.  What will happen in this case is the court will likely appoint your spouse as the guardian of the property for the benefit of you children.  While this may seem like a sensible outcome, it is generally not.  The problem is that your spouse cannot readily deal with property necessary for the benefit of him/herself or the children.  Your children will own 1/3 of your interest in the martial home.  Say your spouse needs to sell the home or other property.  This is an issue as she does not own 100% of the home.  In the 3 child situation above, she owns 4/6 of the property (her original 1/2 plus the 1/3 she received of your interest).  The children own 1/3 of the property.  This situation get  even more tangled if you have children from a previous relationship or marriage.  They share equally in owning the property.  Their guardian will have a claim to be appointed as guardian of their interest in the property and can make decisions regarding how the property is handled.  Another issue is, what happens if you have step-children?  Generally, unless you adopt them, they are not treated as your children for inheritance.  All of these issues illustrate well why it is important for anyone with children to have a will.

Visit www.GAWillsOnline.com to begin executing your will.  An attorney will walk you through the process and provide a detailed explanation of all of the will provisions.  You can rest assured that your family is properly protect.


No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: