When a person in Georgia dies without a will, or in case the one he has is declared, the estate he leaves behind is distributed according to the law of the state. This estate is called the intestate estate and the probate laws in Georgia determine its distribution and transfer as follows:
The Surviving Spouse
In Georgia, your intestate estate is inherited in full by your surviving spouse in the event you have no living children and/or grandchildren at the time you die. When you have a surviving spouse and children, the estate is equally distributed among them. According to the Georgia laws, the surviving spouse will always get at least one-third of deceased’s estate. This law stands with no regard to the number of children that survive the deceased. If there are no surviving children, but you do have grandchildren, they will get the share that was supposed to go to their parents.
No Children or Spouse
For Georgia residents who die without leaving a surviving spouse or children, or sometimes even grandchildren, the intestate succession laws of the state entail that their estate be equally distributed to their surviving parents. If the deceased doesn’t even have living parents, the siblings come next in line for inheritance, followed by others in the following order:
- Nieces and nephews
The Estates without Heirs
When a resident of Georgia with no intestate heirs dies, their estate is automatically transferred to their respective county’s board of education. The estate is transferred once the personal representative of the estate files an application in the probate court that authenticates the fact that no heirs were found following the four years after opening of the estate. Georgia law does however allow additional 60 days in case there are any unknown heirs who want to object the transfer of state to the board of education.