Georgia law establishes detailed legal requirements for probate and administration of the estate of a person who passes away. Getting help from a knowledgeable Georgia probate attorney alleviates the stress and burden of estate administration and ensures that the estate goes through all necessary legal steps before the distribution of the estate assets. The Cartersville probate lawyers at Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia provide assistance to family members and loved ones who are responsible for the estate.
If you are responsible for probate and administration of a loved one’s estate, the nature and extent of the estate determine which laws and rules apply to the estate. Our probate lawyers have the experience and skill to help you ascertain what legal steps are necessary. We then work closely with you to navigate through all the legal requirements that must be satisfied before the estate property can be distributed.
Our primary goal in the administration of any estate is to eliminate the pressure and anxiety of meeting legal requirements to the greatest extent possible. We want you and your family to be able to focus on grieving your loved one, instead of diverting energy and attention to Georgia probate and estate administration laws and rules.
At the beginning of the estate administration process, we take the time to get to know you and understand your family circumstances. If concerns of family members arise during probate, which sometimes happens, we can help address those issues and avoid disruption of important lifelong relationships after a loved one passes away.
Probate of an estate is a statutory court-supervised process that some estates and some assets must go through after a person passes away. Georgia has exceptions to probate for certain small estates and property passed to heirs by other means, like a trust, beneficiary designation, or pay-on-death designation. A knowledgeable probate lawyer helps you and your family navigate the state laws and determine what process is required for your loved one’s estate.
Whether or not probate is necessary, someone must obtain court authorization to administer a decedent’s estate. If there is a Last Will and Testament, the executor named in the Will requests an appointment as the personal representative of the estate. If there is no Will, state law establishes a priority order in which family members may request an appointment as the administrator for the estate. The personal representative or administrator has substantial fiduciary responsibilities following appointment by the court.
Probating an estate requires collecting and creating an inventory of all assets, as well as identifying and paying all debts and taxes of the decedent and the estate. Legal requirements established in Georgia law include specific notifications and court filings. Timelines and deadlines apply throughout the process. When all necessary steps are complete, the personal representative or administrator distributes the estate assets as provided in the Will or under state law (if there is no Will) and closes the estate by filing documents with the probate court.
Georgia law imposes important responsibilities on a personal representative or administrator of an estate. If you hold that position for a loved one’s estate, getting assistance from experienced Georgia probate lawyers is the best way to ensure that you meet all your legal obligations.
The process that applies to settling a specific estate depends entirely on the nature of the estate and the assets in the estate. A probate attorney can help you make the determination of what legal process is necessary for your loved one’s estate. After that information is known, the settlement process can begin.
If you are responsible for settling the estate of a deceased loved one, or you are the beneficiary of an estate, it’s important to understand that probate and estate administration takes time to complete. On average, the settlement of a Georgia estate takes about eight to 12 months to complete. The timeline can be shorter or much longer, depending on the estate and on family circumstances. If there is a challenge to a Will, settling an estate can take years.
With support and assistance from a probate lawyer, you can navigate through the process smoothly with minimum stress in most cases. Your attorney will be by your side every step of the way, making certain that all legal requirements are met and that any concerns that arise are addressed as expeditiously as possible.
If you recently lost a loved one and don’t even know where to start, we suggest reading our blog post, What To Do When a Loved One Dies.
Probate of a Georgia estate typically occurs in the county where the deceased person lived or where Georgia property in the estate is located. Our probate lawyers at Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia assist executors and administrators with probate in Bartow County, Cherokee County, and Gordon County. In addition to working with personal representatives of estates, we help out-of-state heirs and beneficiaries who are handling or have an interest in a Georgia estate. We welcome you to contact us for assistance with a probate or estate administration matter.