What are a child’s inheritance rights when a parent dies and leaves a spouse?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Estate Administration

Georgia residents who chose to file a will before their death typically establish guidelines for the distribution of their assets or estate. If the will names an executor and the court approves the individual, this person is responsible for handling all matters related to the estate.

An heir listed in the will should receive a copy of the will, particularity if filed through probate. If you are a child of the deceased but your parent never made a will, things become more difficult. However, you are still given rights under Georgia inheritance laws.

Spousal vs descendant rights

According to the intestacy laws in Georgia, when there are children and a spouse who survive the decedent, the distribution of the estate makes provisions for all descendants and the spouse. The entitlement for the surviving spouse is one-third of the estate. This is the case even when the surviving spouse is the parent of the surviving children. When there is no surviving spouse, the children receive the entire distribution.

Distribution according to a will

It is only the estate assets included in a will that follow intestate succession laws. It is also possible that the decedent disinherited either a spouse or child by failing to include the individual in the will. While a disinherited spouse may receive a monetary allowance for a year, this privilege does not extend to a disinherited child.

There are specific assets that will pass to individuals through beneficiary designations or joint tenancy, such as bank accounts or life insurance. This changes the distribution of assets under intestate laws.