The petition for year’s support is unique among the petitions that may be filed with the probate court. It is usually filed along with another petition as it does not result in anyone being appointed to represent the estate.

This can be a game changer in a probate case. It takes advantage of some key provisions of Georgia probate law that are designed to protect and benefit a surviving spouse and minor children.

Benefits of a Petition for Year’s Support in Georgia

The main purpose of this probate petition is to set aside an amount of money from the estate (or property from the estate) for the benefit of minor children or the surviving spouse of the deceased.

The amount of money or property set aside is taken from the top of the estate, meaning that the money goes to the family before heirs, creditors, or beneficiaries of the will.

Usually, the amount of money or property that is allowed to be set aside is equal to one year of the standard of living to which the spouse or the child is accustomed. The probate code requires the probate court to take any other sources of income that the petitioner has into account when calculating this amount.


This probate petition is the most complex petition, more than any of the others. The petitioner should always be careful in using this petition and should consider consulting an attorney if they haven’t already done so previously.

Only a surviving spouse or a surviving minor child can file this probate petition, which must be filed within two years of the date of death.

When this probate petition is filed, the petitioner must definitively identify all estate property requested and state the amount of money requested from the probate court to award as one year’s support. The petitioner should be very careful with his or her description of the property.

This is because if the petition for a year’s support is granted by the probate court, then the court will incorporate the petitioner’s descriptions into the order. If the descriptions provided do not completely and precisely identify the property, then the property may not be properly set aside. Consequently, this would, of course, defeat the entire purpose of the year’s support petition.

The petitioner is also required to accurately identify all of the heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors of the estate.

This information must be provided to the probate court with their addresses in order for the probate court to send a notice to each of them. It must happen in order to provide an opportunity for each involved party to object to the petition if they desire.

A properly filed petition for year’s support can wind up taking the entire estate if no one files an objection to it.

Objection to a Petition for Year’s Support

If no objection is filed, the probate court will grant the petition for support as written without a hearing.

However, if there is an objection, the probate court will order a hearing. This hearing is held to determine the amount of money and property that the petitioner should be granted.

At the hearing, the petitioner must prove the amount of the award. If the petitioner is unable to provide sufficient proof, the probate court may ultimately deny the petition.

Once an objection is filed, it can drastically reduce the amount of year’s support that is awarded.

The reason for this is that once an objection is filed, it begins a legal process that will end at a hearing on the year’s support petition.

Before the hearing, each side will have time to gather evidence to present to the court to prove their case.

At the hearing, the person requesting year’s support will be given an opportunity to present evidence to show why the amount he or she is requesting is appropriate.

Likewise, the person objecting will be given an opportunity to show why the amount requested as year’s support is not appropriate, excessive, or more than the petitioner is entitled to under the law.

When considering whether you want to file a formal objection to a petition for a year’s support, it is important to make sure you object within the timeframe set by the court, which is usually 30 days.

If you miss that deadline, your objection may be ignored or dismissed by the court.

For this reason, we strongly recommend consulting with a probate attorney before filing this petition. An attorney’s assistance could make all the difference when dealing with its intricacies.

Next Steps

Our team has used the petition for year’s support to successfully:

  • Save the estate home.
  • Reduce creditor claims.
  • End probate disputes among the family.

If you are a surviving spouse or surviving minor child (under 18 years old), we can help make sure you keep as much of the estate as possible.

If you would like to speak with one of our team members about what you’ve read in this article, please call our office at (770) 920-6030 or use the form below to schedule your free consultation.