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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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BACKGROUND INFO / TIME LINE OF EVENTS: My father was married,

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BACKGROUND INFO / TIME LINE OF EVENTS:

My father was married, but separated (his wife left him / moved out of their house on 12-21-2011. My father passed on 5-31-2012. My father left the house in a reverse mortgage which originated in September 2009 (at that time he added his wife to the property deed). On 2-08-2012 my father filed a Living Will in Probate Court leaving his wife $1.00. In his Will he states “I, give, bequeath and devise to my wife at the time of publishing this my last will, JANE DOE, $1.00 (one dollar). This Will does not provide beneficial property to JANE DOE, I am fully aware that I have a wife and I choose to leave my property, etc. to my children”. Additionally, my father left me his interest in the house, and all of his assets. He left his other four (4) children $500.00 (Five-Hundred Dollars) each from his estate, and he appointed me as Executor of his estate.

Now, his wife has filed for a years support claim against the estate. The claim is based on the house, which sits on 2.6 acres of land, and all household goods and furnishings totaling the amount of $110,000 (One-Hundred Ten Thousand Dollars). I believe that because the County appraisal is $80,000 (Eighty-Thousand Dollars). The Estimated market value of the personal property is about $30,000 (Thirty-Thousand Dollars). The Reverse Mortgage loan payoff total is $170,000 (One Hundred-Seventy Thousand Dollars). My father lived off approximately $1,100.00 (Eleven Hundred Dollars) per month. His bills were approximately $500.00 (Five-Hundred Dollars) per month. I have made plans to liquidate the personal property of the estate. What monetary amount or percentage of the estate should I expect the judge to award my father’s wife based on the information provided? How is the year’s support actually determined?

My father’s wife is also claiming that some of my father’s assets were “bought during the marriage”. Would these items she is claiming be considered as “community property”? If so, what percentage is my father’s wife entitled to upon liquidation of the same?

Thanks for your question and good morning.My sympathy here for your loss of loved one.

Here assuming the worst that wife had no income the court might award say $400-$500 a month in support.However if wife here has income herself it is very possible that either greatly reduced amount or no support is granted.The court has wide discretion to ascertain anything like this.The court would look at factors like length of marriage(usually five years minimum for support), disparity of income, etc.

As far as property his estate consists of his separate premarital property or inheritance he acquired during marriage, and his half of the community.So the probate court will categorize all of this to determine what her share is in this matter.If his wife is on the deed she likely has her half interest unless the court decides otherwise.

The general rule in Georgia is that all property acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage, regardless of title, is marital property and subject to equitable division.

Georgia courts would consider the following factors when deciding what is a fair and equitable division of marital property in this situation:

  • the separate assets and financial status of each spouse
  • the income and earning capacity of each spouse
  • the conduct of the spouses towards each other during the marriage
  • any wrongful conduct that resulted in a dissipation (waste) of assets by either spouse
  • the future needs of either spouse, including retirement planning, and
  • each spouse’s debts.



BotXXXXX XXXXXne here is that the court would have to categorize the assets here much like a divorce and then his separate and half marital interest would the property/assets of the estate.The court if necessary would order common property sold and proceeds divided.Also the reverse mortgage here would factor in since this was likely a marital debt.So both parties may be required to pay a share of that or offset any inheritance due.Again the court here would determine all of this/

I appreciate the chance to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.

 

I hope that you will be so kind as to leave a positive rating. If you do have any additional questions about my answer please click the "Continue Conversation Link" so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. Please be aware that any rating of 1 or 2 is reflected as a negative rating and I receive no credit for my answers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

Here is reference to the factors the court would look at as far as support claims..

http://www.divorcesupport.com/divorce/Georgia-Spousal-Support-Maintenance-Alimony-489.html

Again a lot of discretion with the judge about whether to order it and how much..

 

I wish you good luck here resolving all of this.It would be possible for you to negotiate here with the widow or her lawyer to resolve this..

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1) If I don't have legal representation...how can I get a letter directly to the probate court judge or communicate directly to the judge? Can I set an appointment with the judge?


 


2) If I quit claim deed the property to the wife, will that satisfy the years support claim AND community property matter?


 


3) How will the judge determine premarital property versus community property?


 


4) I was given a (60) day time frame to reside at the property and liquidate the personal property of the estate. How can I get an extension if I need more time to complete my executor duties at the property? Would a request for (30) additional days at the property be reasonable for the judge to approve?


 


5) I am really trying to understand how to satisfy the years support claim and resolve community property claims without having to pay the wife support from the estate liquidation.

1) If I don't have legal representation...how can I get a letter directly to the probate court judge or communicate directly to the judge? Can I set an appointment with the judge?

 

Answer:You can write him.He cannot meet with you or talkt to you on the phone unless other party is present.To do so called ex parte is not allowed here.But you would cc the other party here and show that on your letter to avoid any problems.


 


2) If I quit claim deed the property to the wife, will that satisfy the years support claim AND community property matter?


Answer:You can resolve this with the other side .this way.You are allowed to contact them directly or through their lawyer.You would want a written settlement where they agree to release their claims for support here in return for such a deed.

 


3) How will the judge determine premarital property versus community property?


Answer:It is presumed marital.The parties would have to have some proof of separate property.Here say you show a bank account existed before marriage, remained in their name only, not comingled into a joint account.This is called tracing and would be similar to what either side does in a divorce.


4) I was given a (60) day time frame to reside at the property and liquidate the personal property of the estate. How can I get an extension if I need more time to complete my executor duties at the property? Would a request for (30) additional days at the property be reasonable for the judge to approve?

 

Answer: Yes it would here you cite what you have done, what remains to be done, this shows good cause for needing more time.You can do this in your letter asking for an extension to complete resolution and also metion trying to resolve it with other party.


 


5) I am really trying to understand how to satisfy the years support claim and resolve community property claims without having to pay the wife support from the estate liquidation.


Answer:Remember she is asking for the moon here.It is not at all clear that any support would be ordered.If she had income here say her own social security he made so little money it is very possible the court says no.Also if you can in any way show he supported here say paid the rent here or other thinkgs for her, old checks would count this might suffice.Again remember it never hurts to ask --she is asking for money here as support and honestly thats an iffy claim.No harm to you to respond to the coutr with any proof you had that she had her own income here or he paid indirectly to support here.IE he bought all the groceries, paid rent, utilities, etc.You may well prevail here.

 

I an so sorry I missed you last night.I hope I got all your questions here.Thanks for letting me help you.

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