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    Who will inherit the property in a complex, mixed family estate?

    inherit the property

    Who will inherit the property in mixed family situation?

    For example, who will inherit the property if the deceased does not have a will, had children from a first marriage, and, many years later, remarries and dies with minor children from the new relationship? Who are the heirs?

    When someone dies without a will, Georgia probate law determines who will inherit the property. That law will only recognize natural or adopted relatives, and the legal spouse of the deceased. So, prior spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, fiancee’s, and other non-married partners will not be included and will not receive an inheritance under the distribution scheme set out by Georgia probate law.

    As a result, the ex-spouse of the deceased is not considered an heir, and will not be included in the estate in any way. The new (and current) spouse of the deceased will be considered and heir and will share in the estate.

    All natural and adopted children of the deceased are included as heirs of a deceased estate in Georgia. One point to keep in mind is that if the deceased is a male, and if any of his children were born outside of a marriage, then those children may be required to prove that the deceased was actually their father. There are a number of ways to do that under Georgia probate law, and that is a discussion for another article.

    In this situation, all children were born during one of he deceased’s two marriages. As a result, all of the children will have an equal share of the deceased’s estate.

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    So, the heirs of this estate are the new spouse, the children from the first marriage, and the minor children from the second marriage. They will inherit the property. The fact that some of the children are minors will not affect their right to inherit property. It may mean that an adult will have to hold the property for them (and likely under probate court supervision, depending on the amount) until they turn 18.

    If you are in a situation like this and need help, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. We’re here to help.

    Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate attorneys provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.

    About the author

    Erik J. Broel
    Founder & ceo

    Erik founded the firm in 2009. He sees it as his personal mission to demystify the process of handling an estate or trust, and to help people by making the complex estate process simple and accessible. He believes there is always a better way to do things, and loves finding new and innovative ways to deliver better, more effective service that solves the client’s key problem or issue, and improves the client’s life.

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