Georgia Probate Laws mandate how many issues of the estate are handled, both in terms of living wills and trusts as well as after someone’s passing.
Georgia Probate Laws Can Protect Your Estate
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In Georgia, probate is an elegant term for the legal procedure that happens after an individual referred to as decedent passes away. It usually includes going to court to see whether there is a legitimate will, designating an individual or personal representative. If there is no will, the Georgia probate court will appoint an administrator of the estate.
The personal representative is also called an executor. She or he has a duty to collect any possessions, pay any financial obligations the decedent might have, and distribute any remaining assets that are left. They also have to file final state and federal income tax returns for the decedent. In case the taxable estate is substantial, a federal estate tax return may be required. The personal representative can distribute estate assets after debts and taxes are paid. The surviving spouse or close family member of the deceased person is usually the one who will be appointed to do that.
If a deceased person had a will, the executor would follow the decedent’s wishes. If an individual passed away without a will, the court would divide the probate assets between the successors based upon Probate laws. The Probate Court in Georgia will also determine how to resolve other affairs of the decedent.
If the deceased person had no children, the surviving spouse is the sole heir by Georgia law. However, “If the decedent is also survived by any child or other descendant, the spouse shall share equally with the children, with the descendants of any deceased child taking that child’s share, per stirpes; provided, however, that the spouse’s portion shall not be less than a one-third share.”
Dealing with GA Probate Laws
It’s important to know that not every estate has to go through probate. Although it’s sometimes possible to avoid probate, usually it’s required if the deceased person owned assets in her or his name alone. In addition, certain assets have to go through probate. These assets include real estate owned by the decedent individually, tangible assets such as vehicles or jewelry, as well as bank accounts with no beneficiary designation.
However, other assets can often be transferred to their brand-new owners without probate. Typical assets that do not require probate are, for instance:
- Possessions the departed individual owned in joint occupancy. These pass immediately to the surviving spouse or another owner.
- Life insurance policies or pension benefits that are payable to a named beneficiary.
- Assets like retirement accounts where the beneficiaries have been appointed outside of the will.
When your loved one dies, the last thing you want to think about is the process of probating a will or estate in Georgia. If you need any legal advice regarding probating a will or estate or wish to discuss your particular case, retain the services of an experienced law firm and lawyers, such as those found at the Law Office of Paul Black.
Georgia Probate Code: What Is the Time Limit for Probate?
Probating an estate in Georgia normally lasts from about 6 months to a year. The time limit depends upon how fast the process of probating was started, and how precise the will is. The time limit for Georgia probate differs a little by county.
The will is processed in the local Probate Court of the county where the deceased was living at the time of death. In identifying your time frame for probating a specific will or estate, you must learn that particular county’s guidelines.
Probate laws in Georgia can be tricky. That’s why it is crucial to retain a lawyer who knows these laws well and has significant expertise in estate law. Paul Black is an estate law expert, and he can provide you with legal advice or help clarify many terms and processes.