Avoiding probate in Georgia is easy.
You just need to set up your estate properly.
This article will teach you how to avoid probate in Georgia.
Let’s dig in.
When the courts appoint an administrator to an estate, they can choose anyone. This includes creditors or third-party companies. Meaning you and your family lose all control over the estate.
If you want to avoid probate in Georgia, fill out the form below for a free consultation.
This section is a brief overview of avoiding probate in Georgia.
It meanly covers probate topics like:
If you understand all of this already, you can skip ahead to the next section.
Where we talk about the 3 tips for avoiding probate in Georgia.
What does probating a will in Georgia mean?
Probate is the legal process that determines if a will is valid and authentic.
Probating a will in Georgia also means administering a deceased person’s will.
The courts will appoint either an executor or administrator for the estate.
This person will pay off debts that the decedent owed from the estate.
After that, they will distribute the remaining estate to the heirs.
The Georgia probate time limit is 5 years.
A will in Georgia will expire exactly 5 years after you open probate.
Which makes your will invalid.
And this means that the estate will default to intestacy laws.
Once the will becomes invalid, you lose control over the estate.
The estate will get split up per the intestacy laws if the Georgia probate time limit gets missed.
Let’s talk about how long you have to probate a will in Georgia.
You have 5 years to probate a Georgia will.
But “5 years” does not start when the person dies.
5 years begins counting down after you file for probate on an estate in Georgia.
But you do have a time limit on when you have to probate a will.
You have to file for probate within 18 months of someone passing away.
The Georgia small estate limit is $10,000.
If you die with less than $10,000 in a bank account, your heirs can file a small estate affidavit.
This allows them to avoid probate in Georgia.
This $10,000 Georgia small estate limit only applies to your bank accounts.
The three ways you can avoid probate in Georgia are:
This is the most straightforward approach for avoiding probate in Georgia.
A living trust is an alternative to a last will.
A will simply distributes your assets when you pass away.
But a living trust places your assets in a trust.
Then, the assets are managed by the trustee for your beneficiaries.
When you place assets in a trust, they are already distributed to the trust.
So, placing assets in a living trust allows you to avoid probate in Georgia.
Related: Disadvantages Of A Trust
You are able to name beneficiaries on your:
Naming beneficiaries enables these accounts to avoid probate in Georgia.
This is true even if these assets are not in a trust.
They can even avoid probate in Georgia if you don’t have a will.
To avoid probate in Georgia on these accounts, name a beneficiary.
All you need to do is fill out the Payable On Death forms.
You can call the company that holds your accounts and ask for the form.
Then, submit it back to them.
These forms ensure that monies are immediately dispersed at death.
Allowing these accounts to be avoiding probate in Georgia.
Joint ownership allows real estate to avoid probate in Georgia.
For example, you and your spouse may own your home jointly.
This allows you to pass the property to your spouse automatically if you die.
But it doesn’t have to be your spouse.
You can own property jointly with anyone, including, but not limited to you:
For avoiding probate in Georgia, you’ll need to designated ownership clearly.
For married couples, you’ll want to consider creating a Tenancy by Entirety.
This form designates that each spouse has an equal and undivided interest in the property.
(Fill out the form below to have us do this for you.)
What if you currently own property by yourself, but you want to add your spouse to the title?
You can use a Georgia quitclaim deed.
This will “quit” your individual claim to the property.
And will designate new ownership – you and your spouse.
Related: What Happens If No Probate Is Filed
These are questions we commonly get associated with avoiding probate in Georgia.
There are 13 steps for how to file a will in Georgia.
But the gist of how to file a will in Georgia is that you:
If you have one, does a will have to be probated in Georgia?
Per probate laws, a will has to be probated in Georgia.
This is true even if probate is not necessary due to things like:
The courts will want to validate the will.
And they will need to approve any requests for avoiding probate in Georgia.
So, yes, a will does have to be probated in Georgia, regardless of the estate.
There are consequences of not probating a will.
If you do not go through probate, the property remains in the descendant’s name.
The beneficiaries cannot gain legal ownership of the property without probating a will.
Related: Power of Attorney Georgia
What happens if a will is not probated in Georgia?
If a will is not probated, then:
Let’s talk about the legal title being clouded.
You need to probate a will to transfer the title of the property out of the decedent’s name.
If you don’t probate a will then the property remains in the decedent’s name.
If it’s in their name, you won’t be able to:
You have to probate the will to transfer the title into the beneficiaries’ names.
Next, let’s talk about legal claims against the executor.
When the will is probated, property gets distributed to the beneficiaries and creditors.
If the will is not probated, they will not receive property that is legally theirs.
This gives them the right to file a civil lawsuit against the executor.
And the executor will be personally liable to repay them.
That’s because it’s the executor’s responsibility to probate the will.
Related: What An Executor Cannot Do
A will does not avoid probate in Georgia.
The estate needs to go through probate to avoid issues like:
Probating a will in Georgia settles the estate.
The executor will:
The estate has to be closed.
This is why a will cannot avoid probate in Georgia.
According to Georgia estate laws, the executor gets paid:
The executor gets paid based on a percentage of the estate.
Related: Penalty For Stealing From An Estate
If you want to set up your estate to avoid probate in Georgia, fill out the form below.
We also make sure that every asset can avoid probate.
But allow you to maintain control over your estate while you’re alive.
This means your heirs don’t get raked over the coals financially with probate.
After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.