FAQs about the probate process

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2023 | Estate Administration

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 160,000 people die each year in Georgia, and many of those estates go through probate. If you have a loved one who has passed away, you might be unsure about the probate process.

While Georgia probate laws provide a framework for estate distribution, the laws can be hard to grasp without guidance, and you likely find yourself facing the same questions many others have.

What does the probate process involve?

Administering the estate of a deceased person involves the probate process. This process involves identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property, paying their debts and distributing the remaining property to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. If the deceased person leaves a will, the family presents it to the probate court, and the court appoints an executor to manage the estate. If there is no will, the court appoints an administrator.

How much time does the probate process take?

The probate process duration in Georgia depends on the complexity of the estate. Simple estates may close within eight months to a year, while more complex estates may take several years to administer fully.

Is probate mandatory?

Probate is not necessary for all estates in Georgia. If a deceased person jointly owned all of their property with another person, such as a spouse or assigned beneficiaries on all of their assets, those assets may pass to the surviving co-owner or the beneficiaries without probate.

What duties does an executor or administrator have?

The executor or administrator of an estate holds several responsibilities. These include submitting the will to the probate court, notifying heirs and creditors, managing the deceased person’s property, paying any debts and taxes and distributing the remaining property to the heirs or beneficiaries.

How are disputes resolved in the probate process?

The probate court in Georgia resolves disputes during the probate process, such as disagreements over the interpretation of a will or the distribution of property. Parties involved in the dispute present their arguments, and the court makes a decision based on probate law.

The Georgia probate process may seem complex, but understanding the basics can guide you through this challenging time.