Do You Have To Probate A Will In Georgia

Do You Have To Probate A Will In Georgia - Do Wills Have To Be Probated In Georgia - How Long Do You Have To File Probate After Death In Georgia

Do you have to probate a will in Georgia? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • if you have to
  • how long you have
  • how to do it
  • who do you have to inform
  • how much it costs
  • who pays for it

Keep scrolling to learn more.

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Do You Have To Probate A Will In Georgia?

Yes, you have to probate a will in Georgia. 

Probating the will validates the will’s authenticity. 

Then it helps distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. 

If there’s a will, you can’t let the estate go through probate intestate. 

For someone who tries to ignore the will and opt for intestate, they will deal with:

  1. Legal Problems: Others who should get something from the will can take you to court.
  2. Court Steps In: The court will likely find out about the will and make sure it is followed, not the intestate rules.
  3. You Could Owe Money: Let’s say you’re in charge of the estate and ignore the will. You will have to pay for any losses or damages
  4. More Delays and Issues: Intestate will take longer, cost more in legal fees, and complicate things.

Read More: How To Avoid Probate In Georgia

How Long Do You Have To Probate A Will In Georgia?

You have 5 years to probate a will in Georgia.

This is 5 years after you file the petition for probate for the estate.

But you have to file for the petition for probate within 18 months of someone passing away.

The Georgia probate laws state that you have to file for probate in a “reasonable amount of time.”

A reasonable amount of time is a vague definition.

But the longest we have had a client wait to open probate is 18 months.

How To Probate A Will In Georgia Without An Attorney?

Probating a will in Georgia without an attorney involves several steps:

  1. Locate the Will: Find the original will of the deceased.
  2. Identify the Executor: The will names an executor responsible for handling the estate.
  3. File the Will: Submit the will to the probate court in the county where the deceased lived.
  4. Petition for Probate: Complete and file a “Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form” or “Petition to Probate Will in Common Form” depending on the situation.
  5. Notify Heirs and Beneficiaries: Inform all heirs and beneficiaries named in the will.
  6. Inventory Assets: List all assets of the deceased. This includes property, investments, and personal belongings.
  7. Pay Debts and Taxes: Use the estate’s assets to pay any outstanding debts and taxes.
  8. Distribute Remaining Assets: First, pay the debts and taxes. Then, distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as directed in the will.
  9. Close the Estate: Once all steps are completed, file a petition with the court to close the estate.

Read More: When Does The Reading Of The Will Take Place?

Who Has To Be Notified When A Will Is Probated In Georgia?

Numerous parties have to get notified when a will is probated. 

You should notify them by certified mail.

Certified mail will give you a receipt showing they received the notification.

You’ll need to show the probate courts these receipts of delivery.

Here is who you need to notify when a will gets probated:

  1. Heirs-at-Law: These are individuals who would inherit under state law if there were no will. They must be notified even if the will does not include them.
  2. Beneficiaries Named In The Will: All individuals or entities named in the will to receive assets must be notified.
  3. Executor: The person named in the will to manage the estate must be notified, if not already aware.
  4. Probate Court: The will must be filed with the probate court in the county where the deceased lived.

Each of these parties receives formal notice.

This allows them to contest the will or participate in the probate process.

Read More: How Long Does The Executor Have To Read The Will?

How Much Does It Cost To Probate A Will In Georgia?

The cost to probate a will in Georgia is roughly between $2,080 and $2,850 for an easy estate.

Here’s an estimated range for the most common expenses for Georgia probate:

  • Court Fees: $150 – $250
  • Publication Costs: $80 – $100
  • Appraisal and Valuation Fees: $300 – $1,000
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: $50 – $500

Attorney’s fees are where costs can vary greatly. 

Attorneys may charge anywhere from $150 to $500 or more per hour. 

A simple probate process could take 10 hours, costing $1,500 to $5,000.

Who Pays Probate Attorney Fees?

Probate attorney fees get paid from the estate being probated.

The estate’s assets cover these costs before any distribution to beneficiaries.

Sometimes the estate doesn’t have enough money to pay for probate.

In this case, the executor or beneficiaries may agree to pay the fees.

But, let’s say the estate nor any individual can afford to pay for probate.

Here are your options:

  • Pro Bono: You can find an attorney offering pro bono work.
  • Simplified Probate: Check if your jurisdiction does small estates.
  • Estate Abandonment: If no one can afford the debts of the estate, the family can abandon the estate.
  • Appointed Attorneys: Some courts may offer an appointed probate lawyer.

Negotiations with Creditors: You may have to negotiate a reduction in debts or a payback plan.

Have An Attorney Handle Your Probate

If you want help from a probate lawyer, fill out the form below. 

At The Hive Law, we understand the importance of:

  • protecting your hard-earned assets 
  • ensuring your family’s future
  • not losing everything to creditors and lawsuits
  • properly (and legally) distributing assets 

We only accommodate a limited number of clients each month.

So don’t miss your opportunity to work with our probate lawyers.

Benefits of our probate services:

  • Tailored solutions to fit your unique needs and goals
  • Expert guidance in navigating complex tax and legal matters
  • Preservation of your wealth for future generations
  • Streamlined asset distribution according to your wishes

Avoid the pitfalls of inadequate estate planning strategies:

  • Creditors seizing your assets
  • Lawsuits jeopardizing your family’s financial security
  • Family disputes over inheritance
  • Costly and time-consuming probate processes

Talk soon.

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