Georgia Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Winter 1976), pp. 447-531


This Article will attempt to describe and evalute certain aspects of the wealth transmission process. Attention will be given to the surviving spouse's intestate share and its size, the spouse's protection against disinheritance through forced share legislation or otherwise, and, more significantly, whether such a drastic legislative intrusion on freedom of testation is really needed. The adequacy of the support allowance for the decedent's family during the period of administration will also be explored. Attention will also be focused on selected provisions of the intestacy scheme, such as the order of succession, the doctrine of advancements, whether distribution is per capita or per stirpes, and whether unlimited inheritance by remote collateral relatives should continue to be allowed. Finally, special situations which affect the normal course of inheritance will be considered. For example, the rules that determine succession by, from, and through adopted and illegitimate children and the effect of homicide of the decedent on the claimant's right to succession will be discussed. In all of these areas contemporary statutory patterns will be described, including those of Georgia and other states throughout the country. Suggestions will be made with a view toward improving existing legislation so as to make the process work better and more effectively.