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When Military Wills Do Not Contemplate Future-Born Children

February 7, 2018

Authors

Luke Lantta

When Military Wills Do Not Contemplate Future-Born Children

February 7, 2018

by: Luke Lantta

Estate planning probably isn’t high on the priority list for many 20-year-olds, even if they are 20-year-olds serving in uniform.  While the Armed Forces may make it easy for those serving our country to get a will, these testators may need to be reminded to update those wills they executed as certain life events occur, like getting married or having children.  So it was in Hobbs v. Winfield, where the Georgia Supreme Court determined that the military will executed by a 20-year-old did not contemplate the birth of future children and, therefore, the birth of those children revoked his will.

At 20-years-old, while serving in the military, the testator executed a will.  The will named the testator’s mother as his sole beneficiary and personal representative, and, if his mother predeceased him, his ‘grandmother’ was the successor beneficiary and personal representative. 

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Virtual Adoption Requires Intestacy

July 15, 2015

Authors

Luke Lantta

Virtual Adoption Requires Intestacy

July 15, 2015

by: Luke Lantta

For the second time this year, the Georgia Supreme Court has addressed the equitable doctrine of virtual adoption.  Here’s how we previously described the doctrine:

In a virtual adoption, the ‘adopting parent’ orally agrees to adopt the child of another as his or her own without actually legally adopting the child and all parties act on the oral agreement to adopt.   Virtual adoption is not legal or statutory adoption.  It is an equitable remedy that is applied only upon the death of the ‘adopting parent’ to avoid an unfair result to the ‘adopted child’ by the application of intestacy laws.

In Johnson v. Rogers, the Georgia Supreme Court reaffirmed that this equitable doctrine can only be applied where the ‘adoptive parent’ dies Read More

Can A Virtual Adoption Be Undone?

April 23, 2015

Authors

Luke Lantta

Can A Virtual Adoption Be Undone?

April 23, 2015

by: Luke Lantta

The inheritance rights of adopted children have a long, complex history in many jurisdictions.  In Georgia, add into the adoption equation the equitable doctrine of “virtual adoption.”  In a virtual adoption, the ‘adopting parent’ orally agrees to adopt the child of another as his or her own without actually legally adopting the child and all parties act on the oral agreement to adopt.   Virtual adoption is not legal or statutory adoption.  It is an equitable remedy that is applied only upon the death of the ‘adopting parent’ to avoid an unfair result to the ‘adopted child’ by the application of intestacy laws.

As might be expected, these virtual adoption situations are very fact specific.  There must be evidence of an actual oral agreement to adopt and evidence that all the parties acted on that agreement.  The people

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Heir Stuck With Condo Fees Accruing After Owner’s Death

September 2, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Heir Stuck With Condo Fees Accruing After Owner’s Death

September 2, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

In Georgia, if you inherit real property from a debtor by virtue of intestacy, you’re on the hook for debts relating to that property that accrue after the debtor’s death.  Even if that property goes into foreclosure.  Those are your debts, not the debtor’s.  So says the Georgia Court of Appeals in its most recent estate litigation decision. 

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