The Georgia Court of Appeals handed down the case of In re Mahmoodzadeh on Monday, clarifying that a petition for year's support cannot be challenged in probate court on the basis of the validity of the title to property to be set aside.
In Georgia, a surviving spouse has the right to a certain amount of property from the estate of a decedent. How much that amount should be is a question for the courts. But as a practical matter, the courts only examine the amount when an objection is filed to the year's support petition.
In Mahmoodzadeh, an objection was filed with the trial court, but it was an exotic objection, challenging not the amount of support to be awarded but the question of whether the deceased even had title to the property to be granted the petitioner.
The trial court initially stated that this latter question was outside of its jurisdiction but seems to have reversed course. Its solution was to construe the objection as one regarding the AMOUNT of year's support, not the title to the underlying property. On that basis, and based upon a lack of evidence on the petitioner's side, the petition was denied fully.
The Court of Appeals reversed. The trial court, it said, did not have jurisdiction to resolve conflicting claims to title to property, and in any event, the original objection never contested the amount of year's support. Therefore, the petitioner shouldn't have been required to establish this amount.
Full text of the case is below the "read more" break.
Tanner Pittman, LLC regularly advises clients and assists with petitions for year's support, year's support litigation, and other probate and estate matters.
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a West Georgia law firm that specializes in estate services, civil litigation, and legal transactions.
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