30-20. Procedure for assignment.

Upon the application of the surviving spouse, a child by the child's guardian or next friend, or the personal representative of the deceased, the clerk of superior court of the county in which the deceased resided may assign the inquiry to a magistrate of the county. The clerk of court, or magistrate upon assignment, shall ascertain the person or persons entitled to an allowance according to the provisions of this Article, and determine the money or other personal property of the estate, and pay over to or assign to the surviving spouse and to the children, if any, so much thereof as they shall be entitled to as provided in this Article. Any deficiencies shall be made up from any of the personal property of the deceased, and if the personal property of the estate shall be insufficient to satisfy the allowance, the clerk of the superior court shall enter judgment against the personal representative for the amount of the deficiency, to be paid when a sufficiency of such assets shall come into the personal representative's hands. (1870-1, c. 263; Code, s. 2122; 1891, c. 13; 1899, c. 531; Rev., s. 3098; C.S., s. 4115; 1961, c. 749, s. 6; 1971, c. 528, s. 23; 1989, c. 11, s. 2; 1997-310, s. 3; 2011-344, s. 7; 2012-71, s. 2(b).)