FAQ: Who Gets My Stuff If I Don’t Do a Will?
This is a question I get all the time.
Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 53-2-1), if you die without a will and you have no children, the spouse is the sole heir. If you have a spouse and children, they split the estate, as long as the spouse doesn’t get less than a third of the estate. For example, if you leave a spouse and one child, they each get half. If you leave a spouse and two children, all three get one-third. If you leave a spouse and three children, the spouse gets one-third and the children split the remaining two-thirds.
If there is no spouse, the children get it all. If there is no spouse and no kids, the parents inherit. If no spouse, kids, or parents are around, then the siblings get it all.
This answer only applies to property that is considered to be probate property. Common examples of property that is not typically probate property are life insurance, retirement accounts and other accounts that have a beneficiary designation, and some property that is owned jointly with another person.
Have any other estate planning questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.