Georgia Law of Inheritance

The selected sections of the intestate succession law in Georgia are shown below. These provisions determine your heirs if you die without a Georgia Last Will and Testament:
ยง 53-2-1. (Revised Probate Code of 1998) Rules of inheritance when decedent dies without will; effect of abandonment of child
(a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) “Abandon” means that a parent of a minor child, without justifiable cause, fails to communicate with the minor child, care for the minor child, and provide for the minor child’s support as required by law or judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately prior to the date of the death of the minor. (2) “Abandonment” means the act of abandoning. (3) “Minor child” means a person who is less than 18 years of age. (b) For purposes of this Code section: (1) Children of the decedent who are born after the decedent’s death are considered children in being at the decedent’s death, provided they were conceived prior to the decedent’s death, were born within ten months of the decedent’s death, and survived 120 hours or more after birth; and (2) The half-blood, whether on the maternal or paternal side, are considered equally with the whole-blood, so that the children of any common parent are treated as brothers and sisters to each other. (c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, when a decedent died without a will, the following rules shall determine such decedent’s heirs: (1) Upon the death of an individual who is survived by a spouse but not by any child or other descendant, the spouse is the sole heir. If the decedent is also survived by any child or other descendant, the spouse shall share equally with the children, with the descendants of any deceased child taking that child’s share, per stirpes; provided, however, that the spouse’s portion shall not be less than a one-third share; (2) If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, the heirs shall be those relatives, as provided in this Code section, who are in the nearest degree to the decedent in which there is any survivor; (3) Children of the decedent are in the first degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the descendants of any deceased child taking, per stirpes, the share that child would have taken if in life; (4) Parents of the decedent are in the second degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally; (5) Siblings of the decedent are in the third degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the descendants of any deceased sibling taking, per stirpes, the share that sibling would have taken if in life; provided, however, that, subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no sibling survives the decedent, the nieces and nephews who survive the decedent shall take the estate in equal shares, with the descendants of any deceased niece or nephew taking, per stirpes, the share that niece or nephew would have taken if in life; (6) Grandparents of the decedent are in the fourth degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally; (7) Uncles and aunts of the decedent are in the fifth degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the children of any deceased uncle or aunt taking, per stirpes, the share that uncle or aunt would have taken if in life; provided, however, that, subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no uncle or aunt of the decedent survives the decedent, the first cousins who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally; and (8) The more remote degrees of kinship shall be determined by counting the number of steps in the chain from the relative to the closest common ancestor of the relative and decedent and the number of steps in the chain from the common ancestor to the decedent. The sum of the steps in the two chains shall be the degree of kinship, and the surviving relatives with the lowest sum shall be in the nearest degree and shall share the estate equally.

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