Property Law

How you own property has a lot to do with whether it’s protected from creditors, whether it counts toward public benefits eligibility, and how it’s taxed. As this website grows, we’ll have a lot more to say about property law, but for now, we’ve blogged a few posts to help you think about this subject.

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Danger of DIY Legal Work

Sometime people want to avoid the expense of paying an attorney and they try DIY (do it yourself) fixes. Recently I met with someone trying to protect property. This person when to the clerk of Superior Court’s office and, after discussing what they wanted, took a fill-in-the-blank deed form offered by the clerk. Using that […]

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Promise of life estate, based on oral promise, could be enforced

In Farmer v. Farmer (decided March 15, 2024), the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a land owner, finding that his aunt could present her claim to a jury that a life estate was given to her. The ordinary rule is that contracts involving land must […]

Notice of Residential Real Estate Broker Commissions Antitrust Settlements

Recently a notice was published concerning a class action where the Plaintiffs alleged that real estate brokers engaged in anticompetitive practices, essentially violating federal antitrust law. This, by the way, is the law that broke up Ma Bell and gave us dozens of different phone providers. The case is Burnett et al. v. The National […]

elder law resources - ABLE Accounts - Additional Guidance - Trust Beneficiaries

Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act

The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (“UPHPA”) has been enacted in 21 States. It is designed to preserve family wealth passed to the next generation in the form of real proeprty. In Georgia, the Act is codified at O.C.G.A. § 44-6-180  through § 44-6-189.1. Initially, when a partition action is filed, the Act requires […]

elder law resources - ABLE Accounts - Additional Guidance - Trust Beneficiaries

What makes a signature valid in Georgia?

The dictionary definition of “signature” is “a person’s name written in a distinctive way as a form of identification in authorizing a check or document or concluding a letter.” There are no grades for penmanship when signing legal documents. Your signature is your mark, which is exactly how Georgia law defines it: “Signature” or “subscription” […]

Georgia State Medicaid Plan - Rules of Evidence - Scholarly Articles

Deed found to be valid despite allegations of undue influence

In Estate of Bane (Tenn. Ct. App. 3/23/2022), Martha Bane gave her son, John Bane, a power of attorney with “full power and authority to do and perform all acts and things whatsoever requisite and necessary to be done . . . as I might or could do if acting personally.” She also executed a […]

Georgia State Medicaid Plan - Rules of Evidence - Scholarly Articles

Declaratory Judgment Vacated Because It Would Have No Immediate Effect on the Parties’ Conduct

On March 15, 2022, the Georgia Court of Appeals decided Willis v. Cheeley (A21A1730). There, a contested probate proceeding boiled over into the Superior Court of Gwinnett County where Appellee Joseph E. Cheeley III secured a declaratory judgment against Appellant William Joseph Willis. The Court of Appeals held the declaratory judgment was improperly granted because […]

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Oregon’s Expanded Medicaid Estate Recovery Pulls Home Back Into Estate

In Department of Human Services v. Hobart, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled, on March 2, 2022, that Oregon’s Medicaid agency could pull a Medicaid recipient’s interest in a marital home back into her estate for purposes of estate recovery. The federal Medicaid law requires States to pursue estate recovery, but some States are more […]

Georgia State Medicaid Plan - Rules of Evidence - Scholarly Articles

Declaratory Judgment Denying All Future Claims by Non-Parties Exceeded Court’s Authority

In Walker v. Richmond (Ga. Ct. App. 3/1/2022), a Tennessee probate case crossed into Georgia in the context of a declaratory judgment action, a default judgment and a motion to set aside the default. Alfonso Patton, a Tennessee resident, was under a Tennessee conservatorship. After Patton died in 2013, his only biological child, Patricia Richmond, […]

How Do I file a Deed in Georgia?

The first step when filing a deed is to have the deed prepared. Although it is not required, we suggest that you have a lawyer prepare the deed. Where are Deeds Recorded? O.C.G.A. § 44-2-1 provides that Every deed conveying lands shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the superior court of the […]

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