How To Write A Will In Georgia

How To Write A Will In Georgia - How To Write A Last Will And Testament In Georgia

Are you wondering how to write a will in Georgia?

This article will cover:

  • steps to create a will
  • how to write your will
  • what happens if you don’t have one
  • how to make your handwritten will legal
  • how to sign your will
  • do you need to have it notarized
  • what to do with your will

We will dig into all of this.

Let’s dig in.

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How To Write A Will In Georgia

This is a quick guide to creating a will in Georgia:

  1. get a blank will form (either online or from an estate planning attorney)
  2. decide what property to include in the will
  3. pick the beneficiaries of your estate
  4. pick an executor to administer the estate
  5. choose a guardian if you have any minor children
  6. write out your will
  7. sign your will in front of competent witnesses
  8. have your will notarized with a self-proving affidavit
  9. store your will safely (in a safe, bank lockbox, or with your estate lawyer)

What Do You Need In A Will

There are a few pieces of info that you need to gather as you write your will.

Some of them are:

  • Executor: A trustworthy person to distribute your estate.
  • Assets: All personal and real property you want to leave to loved ones.
  • Debts: Any amounts you need to pay off.
  • Beneficiaries: Who will inherit your estate (names, birthdays, and SSNs)
  • Guardian: A person to take care of minor children.
  • Pets: Who will take care of your pets.

Writing A Will In Georgia

There are a couple of ways to write a will in Georgia:

  1. Getting An Online Will
  2. Hiring An Estate Planning Attorney

Getting An Online Will

Get your blank, online will template from an estate planning attorney.

You can still do it yourself and fill out the will on your own.

But this makes sure that you have a will from an accredited attorney.

One who is up to date on the probate laws in the state of Georgia.

Just make sure that you don’t make a holographic will.

(More on this below.)

This is why it’s important to get proper legal advice.

Let’s say you want to write your own will in Georgia.

But you want an attorney to review it.

We do that as well – just fill out the form on this page.

Hiring An Estate Planning Attorney

Hire an estate planning attorney to create your Georgia last will and testament.

An estate planning attorney will make sure that you have a valid will.

And that your estate gets distributed how you want it to.

Having an invalid will means that your estate does not get distributed how you want.

It will be up to the Superior courts to determine how to split your estate.

Without an estate planning lawyer, you risk your will getting contested.

If it’s not a self-proving will, then anyone can contest the legal document.

Fill out the form on this page to get a Georgia last will and testament made for you.

Georgia Will Requirements

Under Georgia law, for it to be a valid will, when you write a will, it needs to:

  • have a testator that’s 14+ years of age and of sound mind
  • be typed up or written out (either is fine)
  • NOT be an audio or video recording
  • get witnessed by two competent witnesses, 14+ years of age
  • get signed by those witnesses
  • get signed by the testator under their full legal name

Let’s talk about if you DON’T meet the will requirements in Georgia.

Invalid Wills In Georgia

Per Georgia code, writing a will creates a holographic will in Georgia if it doesn’t:

  • get witnessed by two people
  • get signed by two competent witnesses (using their full legal names)

A will does not need to get notarized to be a valid will under Georgia law.

But, it helps the executor prove the validity of the will to the probate courts.

An estate planning attorney can:

What Happens If Your Will Is Invalid?

Let’s say you try to file a written will in Georgia that’s not valid.

In this case, you won’t be able to prove the validity of the will to the probate courts.

And the probate courts won’t honor your wishes with this holographic will.

They will distribute your estate per the intestacy state laws in Georgia.

In this case, this means that:

  • your spouse and kids split the estate equally per individual
  • your spouse (with no kids) gets everything
  • your kids (with no spouse) get everything

If intestacy is what you DON’T want, you will need to create a new will.

Make Your Will Valid By Georgia Laws

With a valid will, your estate gets passed down exactly how you want it to.

You can’t “avoid probate” with any last will and testament in Georgia.

You can only avoid probate by setting up trusts.

But a valid, written will allows you to:

  • appoint an executor (personal representative) of your estate
  • distribute your estate how you see fit
  • exclude people from your inheritance if desired
  • change the allocations of how things get distributed
  • choose an advance directive for your healthcare needs

For example, people pass away and leave behind their surviving spouses.

Intestacy laws in Georgia would make your surviving spouse split the estate with the kids.

You may want to give your spouse the entire estate (including real estate).

And then let them pass the remaining estate to the kids once they pass.

That way, they aren’t left with minimal assets after you pass.

Note that you could do everything right and still not have a valid will.

If the testamentary capacity is in question, their own will can become invalid.

An estate planning attorney makes sure you meet all the proper requirements.

Setting Up Wills In Georgia

We’ve talked about a lot of things for estate planning with this legal document.

Let’s talk about the best way to set things up with your last will and testament.

  • make a living will (to determine your end-of-life healthcare)
  • create a last will and testament (to determine how your estate gets split up)
  • appoint guardianship for your minor children
  • make your will self-proving with an affidavit
  • get a notary public for your will to make it easier to prove
  • set up the appropriate power of attorneys
  • set up living trusts to pass down real estate and personal property
  • make sure that codicil (amendments to the will) are self-proving

There are other things to consider for your family members, too.

You need to choose the appropriate loved ones as beneficiaries of things like:

  • retirement plans
  • life insurance policies
  • bank accounts
  • investment accounts

Your Georgia will can address these accounts for probate.

But, appointing beneficiaries means that you can avoid probate with these accounts.

This way, a testator can pass down property to beneficiaries immediately.

If you don’t appoint a beneficiary, these accounts have to go through the probate process.

And will be subject to paying off creditors and debts.

How To Write A Will In Georgia

Let’s say you want a reliable, attorney-created Georgia last will and testament.

Our experienced, Atlanta estate planning attorneys will create your will, which means:

  • you can make sure your doctors abide by the laws
  • you have confidence you have the correct will set up
  • you don’t have to hire a notary to show up to the signing
  • you don’t have to find witnesses to show up at the signing
  • you get FREE revisions for 30 days

Fill out the form below and we will reach out and get the ball rolling.

Talk soon.

Get A FREE Consultation!
We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)
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