Today, every generation is likely to need special help, so it's best to always consider including everyone when creating a comprehensive estate plan.                                                             Should you fail to create a will before you die, here’s information on how intestate laws situation may affect your parents and other family members.

How Do Georgia’s Intestate Succession Laws Affect My Parents?

            The answer to this question depends upon if you are married when your life ends -- and if you have children, brothers and sisters, and parents who survive you. Here's a basic summary of which relatives will inherit from you when you die without a will in Georgia.

  1. When your spouse survives you and you had no children. In this case, your spouse will be awarded everything by the court;
  2. When your spouse and your children survive you. Your spouse and all descendants will basically share everything equally – however, your spouse’s share cannot be equal to less than one third of the estate's overall value;  
  3. When you are only survived by your children – in other words, your spouse has already passed away. Your kids will be awarded everything in equal shares;
  4. When you are only survived by your brothers and sisters. They will inherit all you owned in equal shares;
  5. When only your parents survive you. They will inherit everything.                                                               

Factors to Keep in Mind before Purposely Disinheriting Your Parents

  • Be sure you know their financial status first. If you care deeply about them and can afford to help out, by all means do so. After all, they may want (or need) to move in with you at some point if you don't place an initial, high priority on their needs;
  • Take the time to be sure your parents have created their own comprehensive estate plan with a Peachtree City probate attorney. This can go a long way toward helping them remain financially independent;
  • Never assume a parent’s sibling – or other family members will help. It’s important to remember that many people don't reveal their “true colors” (or moral code) until someone requests financial help. Far too many people find endless excuses to turn away;
  • Make sure your parents are receiving proper healthcare. This is critical, especially if they keep postponing the creation of their wills. Dementia and poor health can suddenly take over – leaving them very vulnerable to all the wrong/untrustworthy members of your family;
  • If you believe you must disinherit your parents, it's a good idea to tell them why in advance. No one wants to be disinherited – especially when they’re older, in poor health and struggling to make ends meet.


To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.

Shane Smith
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