Murchison v. Smith, 270 Ga. 169 (1998). Ms. Annie Bell Smith was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in December 1994. On January 31, 1995, she executed a will leaving the bulk of her estate to her brother-in-law, Caesar Smith and his wife Lois Smith, who were assisting Ms. Smith and providing her with care. Ms. […]

In re Estate of Diaz, 271 Ga. 742 (1999). Leanora Diaz (Diaz) died on April 3, 1997. During the year leading up to her death, her estranged husband served divorce papers on her. Her children begged her to get medical help and, after she refused, they tried to have her involuntarily committed. Following a hospital […]

Ashford v. Van Horne, 276 Ga. 636 (2003). Dr. Alexander Ashford and his wife were estranged after marrying in 1968. Mrs. Ashford filed for divorce in 1999 after a lengthy separation. Dr. Ashford died in 2001 during the divorce proceedings. In 1988, Dr. Ashford’s sister drove him to see an attorney. There, Dr. Ashford produced […]

A forthcoming article was reviewed in WILLS, TRUSTS, & ESTATES LAW eJOURNAL, Sponsored by The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Foundation, Vol. 17, No. 10: Apr 29, 2021. The article recognizes that much in the field of Wills is obsessed with pre-determining the outcome of potential litigation. It centers on an empirical […]

Corrine Barber died on June 22, 2005. Her Will left the bulk of her estate to her youngest child, Alecia Holmes (fathered by Adams). When Alecia offered the Will for probate, Corrine’s four older children (fathered by Barber) filed a caveat. They contended the Will was invalid due to undue influence. The probate court granted […]

Margretta K. Brice died leaving two children, Janice B. Stout and Stephen Curtice Brice. After Margretta died in 2005, Stephen filed a petition to probate her Will in solemn form. Stephen and Janice were the only beneficiaries. With the petition, Stephen filed an acknowledgment of service and assent to probate instanter executed by Janice. The […]

Porter Morrison Ryan was survived by her daughter, Mary Frances Tuttle and other relatives. After Porter died in 2003, Tuttle asked the court to probate a Will executed in 1956. The other relatives objected, contending that the 1956 Will was revoked when Porter executed a new Will in 1999. Tuttle responded arguing that Porter was […]

A jury trial was held to determine whether Mildred Hilton had testamentary capacity to execute a new Will. After the jury found she lacked capacity, the trial court determined that the verdict was incorrect and entered judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Alternatively, the judge also entered an order granting a new trial. Under Georgia law, a […]

Effective January 1, 2021, Georgia HB 865 (Act 508), amended the Georgia Probate code. Now, if you prepare a written statement or list disposing of tangible personal property (a “who gets what” list), it can be incorporated into your will by reference. That means that if there is a dispute concerning tangible personal property, the […]

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