What Happens to an Estate If There Is No Will?

Many Georgia residents put off estate planning. It isn’t uncommon, just unfortunate. When a person dies without a will, they are said to have died intestate. When there is no will in place, what happens to the estate? 

Who does the estate pass to? 

 Georgia intestacy succession laws are clear. The estate will pass to a spouse and children first. If there is no spouse, it will go to the decedent’s children, or vice versa. If the decedent had no spouse or children, the beneficiary line of succession should go in the following order: 

  • Parents 
  • Siblings 
  • Nieces and nephews 
  • Grandparents 
  • Aunts and Uncles 
  • Cousins 

In other words, the estate will pass to immediate family first, closest relatives second and any other relatives last. What if none of the above exist or can be located? In this scenario, the state of Georgia will assume the estate.  

Dealing with an intestate estate? 

Those who find themselves dealing with a relative’s intestate estate may not be sure what they need to do to get through the probate process in the state of Georgia, which is understandable. Thankfully, no one has to go through the probate process alone. An experienced estate law attorney can help ensure the estate is passed on to the right people and that everything is done to close it out properly. Know that the courts will be more involved in cases like this, which may seem intimidating, but with the assistance of legal counsel, court involvement won’t be something to fret over.  

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