Also known as “simplified probate”, summary probate Georgia is a streamlined version of the standard probate process for small estates.
Summary Probate Georgia: The Basics
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According to a 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study by Caring.com, approximately 32.9 percent (one-third) of American adults have a will or other estate planning document. When an individual dies without a will or estate plan, settling the decedent’s final affairs and distributing the estate assets and property will require the surviving loved ones to go through the probate process with the local probate court.
In Georgia, summary probate offers a simplified probate procedure for estates of individuals who die without a will and with less than $10,000 in their bank accounts. Through the simplified probate process, surviving family members or heirs can file a duly sworn small estate affidavit to a financial institution or bank instead of going through the full probate process, which is usually expensive, lengthy, and time-consuming.
At The Law Office of Paul Black, we are dedicated to providing outstanding legal services and comprehensive guidance to individuals and families in estate planning and probate matters. Attorney Paul Black and his legal staff can assist heirs and beneficiaries with all stages of the summary probate process and estate administration.
Our law firm proudly serves clients throughout Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding cities. If you’re considering filing a petition for the simplified probate of your deceased loved one’s estate, reach out to our law firm today. Attorney Paul Black will offer you the experienced legal guidance and advocacy you need to navigate the different stages of the summary probate process.
Eligibility For Summary Probate in Georgia
In Georgia, summary probate allows the decedent’s estate to be released immediately to heirs and beneficiaries and avoid having to go through the lengthy full probate process. However, state law requires that certain conditions must be met before the deceased person’s estate is eligible for summary probate.
The eligibility requirements for summary probate include the following:
- There must be no will.
- The estate must have no debts.
- Only family members or heirs may be allowed to file the small estate affidavit.
- All the heirs and beneficiaries must agree about how the estate’s property will be divided.
If the deceased person’s assets do not qualify for the summary probate procedure based on the requirements listed above, then the decedent’s estate must go through the full probate process.
Not all assets are counted when determining eligibility, however. This includes property held in a living trust, in joint tenancy, in a retirement account that a beneficiary has been designated for, or in a payable-on-death account. This means that under Georgia probate law, summary probate is often available even for relatively large estates.
To find out how these eligibility requirements may apply to your case, contact a DeKalb County probate attorney at The Law Office of Paul Black to request a free initial consultation.