Too often, parents ignore estate planning because of a fantasy that they will live a long life and that there will be time for them to sort those things out. After all, estate planning ultimately contemplates death which is not something that a vibrant and healthy parent wants to think about. But, no matter how morbid or uncomfortable the thought may be, the reality is that none of us can predict when death is going to knock on the door. So, think about getting a plan in place.

It’s important to think about your estate and how it may be dispersed when you die. For instance, Georgia has very specific laws that determine how your assets are divided up should you die without a will. Because of this, your estate may be distributed in a way much different than you may have intended.

This may be entirely different than what you would intend, but according to estate law in Georgia, should you die without a Will, the order in which your heirs are determined is as follows:

  • Your spouse and children, if there are children (the spouse’s share cannot be less than 1/3), and the children of any child or children who predeceased you, as well as their descendants;
  • Your parents if you have no spouse or children, or descendants of deceased children;
  • If you have no surviving spouse, children, descendants of children, or parents, then your assets are distributed among your brothers and sisters and their descendants;
  • If none of the above are living, then grandparents are next in line;
  • If none of the above, uncles and aunts and their descendants.

Most people don’t understand how their estate will be distributed under state law if they fail to plan.

The idea of discussing finances and estate planning with our parents is uncomfortable because most of us are afraid to bring up topics that focus on incapacity, death, property and money. We can present it to them in a very considerable way; however, like asking them, “Do they have Wills?” Other questions can also start the discussion, for instance, “Are their beneficiaries up to date?” or asking, “How do they envision their memorial services?” These kind of mind calming questions should get the conversation started.

Grissom Law, LLC works with clients from Georgia on issues including estate planning, wills, and other financial matters. If you have questions about estate planning, please call for an appointment. We’ll listen carefully, and provide you with recommendations as to how estate planning can help your individual situation.


This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only. In addition, it is available to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Grissom Law, LLC.