Atlanta Estate Planning, Wills & Probate | Siedentopf Law

Video: Can I Disinherit My Spouse?

Can I Disinherit My Spouse?
In your will, do you have to leave any property or assets to your spouse? Can you disinherit spouses in Georgia? That’s what we’re discussing in Siedentopf Law’s latest video.

Hi, I’m attorney Sarah Siedentopf. I’m an estate planning and probate attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. A common question that comes up is “Can I disinherit my spouse in Georgia?” Now, you probably know that people aren’t using those exact words. They’re asking whether they have to leave property to their spouse. But the basic legal jargon is “Can I disinherit my spouse?” AKA “Can I leave things to everyone but my spouse or only leave a small amount to my spouse?”

The answer is, in Georgia, yes. You are not required to leave any percentage of your estate to your spouse. That is different than a lot of other states where there is a requirement and you cannot disinherit your spouse. In Georgia, the way we have decided to do this is a spouse or minor child can file a petition for year’s support after someone dies. So, we’re making sure that you get at least enough assets to take care of that spouse for a year and probably the marital home. But you aren’t required to leave something in your will to your spouse.

Now, you can choose to require that your spouse make a decision between receiving whatever you left them in the will and filing a petition for year’s support. You can make it a requirement of the will that they can’t have two bites of the apple. They only get one of those things. So, at the end of the day, your spouse will probably get something, but you don’t have to leave them anything in the will. If you’ve got more questions about this, need to do some estate planning and think this through, I’d be happy to talk to you. Thanks.

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