The Last will and testament is a necessity for all citizens of the state of Georgia. This document ensures that when a Georgian passes away, their estate will be handled according to their wishes. It also makes a difficult time easier for the loved ones who remain, because having the last will and testament means they may be able to avoid a long probate process and other worries.
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: August 2, 2019. Last updated on: August 19, 2019.
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Producing a will and testament is an important action in guaranteeing a future for your partner, kids, other loved ones, and even your family pets. A correctly composed file appoints somebody to supervise the property and estate (personal representative), as well as settle all financial obligations. It will likewise attend to your household upon death.
A last will and testament under Georgia law are not needed. It is merely recommended, especially when you see a legal disability arising. Without one, you have no binding evidence of your final wishes, which suggests that state laws of intestacy will figure out how your possessions are dispersed.
Your residential or commercial property might even be auctioned off to satisfy any staying financial obligations.
To guarantee your residential or commercial property, including all your assets, are dispersed in the way you desire it to be, it’s important that you properly write a will. In Georgia, if you pass away without a will, your home will be dispersed according to “intestacy” laws.
Therefore, properly constructing a Georgia last will and testament with the assistance of a local attorney experienced in estate law, such as one from the Law Offices of Paul Black, is your best option for making your final wishes known.
Understanding Wills in Georgia
The intestacy law of wills in Georgia, which is the law that enters into play if you die without a valid will, disperses residential or commercial property to your partner and kids. If you have neither partner nor kids, your moms and dads will likely get your residential or commercial property.
After that, the list continues to remote loved ones, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, etc. If you have no living relatives, the state will assume your personal asset as per state laws.
The procedure of composing a lawfully binding will is an intricate one. As wills and probate are both specialized fields, it would be appropriate to consult a lawyer for each.
Last Will and Testament Georgia
The properties your Georgia last will and testament include, but are not restricted to:
- Bank accounts
- Business holdings
- Real estate
Additionally, your Will allows you to assign particular people to a specific function, such as the executor of the estate or real property. An executor of the estate can make sure that the decisions outlined in the will are properly executed.
In addition, you can name a person to manage the property and estate you have left for your minor children.
With your Georgia last will and testament, you can also name a specific person as the legal guardian of your minor children. It’s recommended to name alternate Guardians as well, in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve.
But, if a surviving parent lives with the minor children and has custody over them, that parent will automatically remain their sole guardian. If there is no will, a probate court makes these arrangements.
Moreover, if there are children and surviving spouses, they each take in equal shares. For a better understanding of wills in Georgia, it is better to consult with a Georgia wills attorney.
Although there are many reasons people postpone writing their will, it’s important to plan early. There are several options for estate planning, including the creation of charitable organizations. Here are 10 Reasons to Create an Estate Plan Now.
Navigating a Living Will Georgia
Those individuals considering having a Georgia living will and/or a power of attorney for medical care should discuss their options with a local lawyer. The person writing your will should know your preferences and choices and must have experience creating Georgia wills. A living will is also known as a directive to physicians or an advance directive.
This type of will can be a good option for some people since it sets down in writing what they want in terms of their future healthcare and end-of-life care. A living will be created when the principal has a sound mind and can decide how his or her property should be distributed.
For this, the principal needs competent witnesses and undergo the same formalities as creating a new will. For example, if a person becomes incapacitated and is no longer capable of communicating their healthcare decisions, they might have a living will.
The living will say that they do or do not wish to receive palliative care or that they do or do not want to be resuscitated.
Georgia Living Will
A Georgia Living Will and health care initiative enable individuals to maintain control over their treatment, even if they are no longer able to interact.
The person making a living will meet certain requirements to create or renew an old will.
- The person should be 14-years or older and isn’t laboring under some legal disability arising either from a want of capacity or want of perfect liberty of action.
- The will must be written and signed by testators or any other person in the testator’s presence.
People considering a Georgia Living Will should note that this legal document does not have any power after they are deceased, so they will need both a Living Will and a regular Will that covers what they would like to be done with their property.
Georgia Will Form
There are several GA Will forms to make things more concise, as far as making it easier to build a lawfully legitimate will. Although a Will can take many formats, many consider using a template to be an easy option. Merely print and neatly complete a Will form such as those found on many sites online.
To ensure you did so correctly, have a local lawyer with an established history in elder law look it over. You should also consider having your will notarized if you want your will to be “self-proving” (something that can speed up the probate process). A Georgia law firm that is familiar with the jurisdiction could recommend a conveniently-located, notary public.
Please note that if you use a Will form from the internet, it will likely be a boilerplate document. It may not necessarily cover the particularities of you, your personal needs, and your individual situation. That is one of the benefits of working with an estate planning attorney. They have the experience to ask you questions that will ensure each and every detail of your estate – from your pets to your charitable contributions to your finances – is covered in your last will and testament.
How to Write a Will in Georgia
How to write a will in Georgia is a typical legal concern for responsible adults. Oddly, however, you can compose your last will and testament in Georgia when you are as young as 14 years of age. Unfortunately, unless it is “self-proving,” it might be dealt with as though you didn’t have a will at all. If you want your will to be self-proved, it must incorporate another legal document signed by two witnesses of the testator and a notary public.
To ensure your will is legal, there are several elements you must include.
- Personal Information, including the legal name, city, and county of residence, is typed or neatly written at the top.
- The name, city, county, and state of residence for the chosen executor and an alternate.
- The full legal name, address, last four digits of the social security number, and the relationship of each beneficiary along with the property bequeathed to each.
- Printed names, signatures, and addresses of two or more witnesses to make the Will “self-proving.”
- Notarization is an additional option.
To ensure your personal wishes are completely and accurately followed, having a Georgia estate planning attorney assist you is the best course of action. They may be able to suggest things you had not considered for your Will and will certainly ensure the document has all the necessary elements.
How to File a Will in Georgia
There are numerous legal methods regarding how to file a will in Georgia. For example, in this state, you are not required to notarize your will, although, for the will to be valid, you must sign the document in front of two witnesses. Those two witnesses must sign the Will as well. As the writer of the will, the witnesses must be at least 14 years old.
In order to ease the probate process, you may also get your will notarized, although this is not required in Georgia. By getting your will notarized, you can make your last will and testament “self-proving.” That means that your witnesses will not be submitted to written questions by the court after your death.
Although it isn’t required to actually file the will in GA prior to death, by doing so, you can make sure you’ve provided a safe location for your final wishes. That ensures the file will not end up being lost someplace amongst your other documents after death, even if you have an executor.
Probating a Will in Georgia
Even if you have a perfectly well-crafted will, probating a will in GA may still be a requirement. Additionally, you will likely need to probate when there’s no will.
Upon the death of the departed, you need to send the deceased’s will and supporting files to Court. If there are no possessions or outstanding debts, probate may not be necessary. Furthermore, if your loved one passed away without a last will and testament, you may still need to probate in Georgia if he or she owned personal property in the state even if he/she didn’t live there.
A lawyer with experience in probate court is often essential to successfully reach an amenable settlement.
How to Probate a Will in Georgia
Understanding how to probate a will in Georgia is essential to ensuring one’s final wishes for their estate are followed. The will’s credibility is vouched for when it was originally signed. This is why estate preparation is a necessary element to probating a will in Georgia. The best legal representative can lead you to the right strategy for your situation.
There are four possible types of probate when there is a will. These types include situations when all heirs are known when all heirs are not known, when the executor named in a will can not carry out that duty, and when there is no property or real estate to distribute.
A good probate lawyer can be instrumental when beneficiaries act adversarial. They can also help with the process of dispersing property to recipients, paying property tax, managing financial obligations of residential or commercial property, and more. Prompt and suitable management of these tasks can permit you to avoid Probate Court, saving considerable time and money.
If you are writing a Will in Georgia or considering estate planning for your and your family’s future, contact estate law attorney Paul Black. He can help you plan your estate, give a piece of legal advice, as well as guide your family through the probate process.