When dealing with estate law matters, it’s common to wonder if there is a time limit for the probating a will or estate. Learn everything you need to know here.
Author: Paul Black
Paul’s experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led him to the work he does today and gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many caregivers and family members face. After graduation from GSU Law, Paul was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation Law & Aging Fellows. Paul has been named as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the area of Estate Planning and as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Published on: April 1, 2020. Last updated on: April 22, 2020.
Georgia Probate Time Limit
In the days following the death of a loved one, the last thing you want to consider is whether there is a deadline for the Georgia probate process. If your loved one has left a will, it will be administered in the Court of Probate within the county where he or she was living at the time of death. Hopefully, the deceased person has the estate plan put in place before his or her death. The will is typically used for probate by the person who is called the executor of the will.
The time limit for Georgia probate depends in part on how precisely the will was created. It also depends on how quickly the procedure of probating the will was initiated. If you have any concerns about probating a will or estate or wish to discuss your circumstance, retain the services of reputable attorneys, such as those found at the Law Office of Paul Black.
How Long Do You Have to Probate a Will in Georgia?
The time limits for probating a will or estate vary slightly by county. The will is processed in Probate Court of the county where the deceased was living at the time of death, so as a first step in determining your time limit for a particular will, you should find out that particular county’s rules.
To start the process of probating the will, the executor has to file the original signed will and Georgia Probate Court Standard Form 5, which is the Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form. This document should be available at the courthouse, as well as here.
If the will contains a self-proving affidavit it will help the whole process go faster. A self-proving affidavit is a sworn statement, signed by the will-maker and witnesses, that proves the validity of the will. Although most states allow the use of the self-proving affidavit, they are entirely optional.
Additional Information Regarding the Probate Time Limit
If the will does not contain a self-proving affidavit, then the petitioner needs to submit a Standard Form 6 (Interrogatories to Witness to Will) at the time she or he files the petition to probate the will. A witness should submit the responses to the interrogatories to the will with the will. However, the main part can be finished by the witness, the petitioner, or the petitioner’s attorney. If the decedent is survived by a partner or small kids, then surviving spouse or children might think about applying for a year’s assistance.
Within the probate time limit, the notification of the Petition to Probate the Will in Solemn Kind needs to be offered to all the successors of the decedent.
If you require assistance identifying the successors of the decedent, you may ask a probate lawyer with expertise in estate planning and Georgia wills for help or advice.
How Long Can Probate Take?
Probating an estate typically lasts from around six months to one year, depending on how straightforward the estate is.
Probate is established to look after the clerical matters relating to the following:
- Estate planning
- Licenses for guns
- Licenses for marital relationships
Its objective is to ensure effectiveness in non-criminal legal issues that mostly include filing documents.
The actual matter of probating a will or estate, of course, can be more complex. Georgia law regarding the process of probating a will is extremely specialized. The recommendations and resources for Georgia seniors and their families offered by Paul Black, the estate law expert, can help clarify many terms and processes.
How to Probate a Will in Georgia
Many people find the process of probating a will or estate intimidating. The Court of Probate does the official procedure of probating a will. The Court identifies that a file has been shown to be the last will and testimony of the decedent. Also, in that file, the decedent formally designates the executor or some other individual to manage the distribution of his or her estate.
Even if the will is not going to be probated, anybody who has the will of a person who has actually passed away must bring the will to the Court for filing.
Additional Info on Probating a Will in Georgia
All the decedent successors must be notified of the Petition to Probate the Will in Solemn Form. In Part 3 of Solemn Form 5, the petitioner should fill out the following:
for every beneficiary of the decedent. It is necessary to keep in mind the distinction between an heir and a beneficiary.
The successor or an heir is the closest living family member of the decedent. The beneficiary is an individual who is offered residential or commercial assets in the will. If an individual is a beneficiary, but not a successor, that individual does not need to be noted in Part 3 of Solemn Form 5. There are specific guidelines concerning the notification that should be provided to beneficiaries.
However, if the deceased person hasn’t left a will, there are no debts, and heirs agree on how to divide the person’s estate and assets, the probate process may not be necessary.
Many of these issues are made even more complicated when aspects like living wills or incapacity planning in Georgia are included. If you need help identifying the decedent’s successors, you can ask a local attorney like Paul Black, for legal advice. Because of his expertise in estate law, you will certainly benefit from his suggestions or help.
Georgia Probate Process
Most Georgia probate matters can be resolved simply and efficiently by using standard Probate Forms. The guidelines and fillable pdf files can be found on the website of the Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia.
The filing fees must be handled when the petition is filed with the Probate Court. The Court accepts cash, checks, and money orders. The current cost is:
- The filing fee of $159.50
- Per page $ 2.00
- Certified copy of letters testamentary $ 10.00
By paying promptly, you can ensure that you don’t lengthen the Georgia probate process.
Probate Process in Georgia
Although the probate process in Georgia is complicated, the judge will determine the appropriate distribution of assets or real estate. Not every estate will require this process. Many properties, such as homes that are collectively owned, are immediately passed to the appropriate successor.
It’s never premature to prepare your estate. An estate planning professional like Paul Black will assist. Contact him today.