How to File a Will in Georgia | 11 Steps You Must Follow Now
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For the setting of someone’s estate on the death, probate is the legal process that the applicant should follow. Typically setting property and estate involves paying off the deceased liable and outstanding debts. Also the final taxes and transferring these to the heirs and beneficiaries. An executor nominated in the will or the court will manage the estate matters, as the probate court will monitor this issue. The majority of states like Georgia have specified processes for estates either very simple or very complicated. Therefore, if you want to know how to file a fill in Georgia. So, this article will be helpful and informative.
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How to File a Will in Georgia
Locate the will
You have to locate the deceased’s will before you petition the court to start the probate process. Often people save their wills in a protected place like the ((safety deposit boxes)). However, they may have filed their will when they are alive. The bank will refer it to the court if it is not safe in the deposit box.
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Review the testator’s signature
When you have got the ((testamentary documents)) of the deceased person like a will, ((revocable trusts)), and codicils, search the signature of the relevant person and the witness’s signature. Under the rules and regulations of Georgia and to get the valid the will should have the testator’s signature or according to the testator’s direction.
Locate the self-proving affidavit of the last will
You should try to locate the self-proving affidavit, and if the will has the self-proving affidavit, it should be there at the end of the will. If the will is self-proved in Georgia, it should have the certificate approved by the ((Georgia code)). They will get the approval if it has a notary stamp or seal. It is a rule that a notary should not be the same person as the testator or any of the witnesses. If they approve the will, you don’t have to locate the witness for the petition submitted for probate.
Have to identify the witness to testify the facts and figures of the execution of the will.
Determine the nominated executor
If you have located the last will and nominated the determinant, and it is according to the law of Georgia, you should look for the testator nominated as executor. Locate the executor of the will as it is important because an executor is a person who can submit your petition to the court for probate. Suppose the executor doesn’t appear in the will.
In that case, you can name any other person as an executor if they are ok to take the responsibility until you complete your task. If you are the executor yourself of the will, you have to contact the heirs and ask which petition they need to fill.
Ascertain the descendant’s heirs
Under the rules of Georgia, the particular persons are nominated for a petition to probate. Those persons are the decedent’s heirs. The heirs are the persons who have got the property and assets from the descents estate if the decedent died intestate.
Hire an attorney
For the filing probate with the court, you should hire an attorney to assist you in administering will for the estate and property. Although there is no rule for hiring a lawyer for the probate process in Georgia, and you can do it by yourself, the local council may offer you to manage the estate matters more efficiently and allow you to save the taxes and money. To protect your interests, decrease the creditor exposure while serving as an executor and doing the fiduciary’s responsibility.
Hiring an attorney from the counsel who has experience in probate and estate management can save your time and money, as they are aware of the norms and procedures of the courts.
File the will with the probate court
You have to file the will in probate court when you get the will. Normally having the will is a petition for probate court, asking the court to start the probate process. In Georgia, there are different types of probates, solemn form, and common form.
The solemn form occurs when the executor expects the beneficiary or heir to contest for the will. This kind of probate needs a notification to all target heirs. Also set any contests at the first appearance in the court.
On the other hand, the common form probate does not need any notice. However, it offers an open challenge for four years. For the given circumstances, you can file the petition for the process of probate.
Inventory the assets of deceased
Gather all the estate asset details like personal property and assets, bank accounts, money, and deeds. Within the 6 months, file a report in the court.
Take the executor’s oath
After evaluating the assets and property, the court will approve the petition and appoint the executor; the court will take the executor’s oath. If the court does not contact the executor’s appointment, you should contact the court to ask for the petition’s status. While contacting the court, it is better to use the estate number issued by the court.
Paying off outstanding assets
Collect the details of all estate assets and properties to any beneficiaries and heirs. Pay all the outstanding debts and liabilities. These outstanding debts and liabilities include final tax returns, debt to creditors. Also, other estate taxes are owed to state or federal tax agencies.
You have to publish the legal notice to the potential creditors within the opening of the probate process in 6- days. You must liquidate all of your other assets if the estate does not have enough funds to pay the outstanding debts.
Distribution of assets
After paying all final debts and liabilities, distribute what remains to beneficiaries according to their terms in a will. You should get the proof of all the beneficiaries and the heirs that they received their endowments and submit to the ((probate court)).
The final accounting report will give the details of expenses paid. The distribution of all the assets after the settlement of the estate matters starts when you submit the petition or request for discharge. When the requestor completes the petition process, then the court will approve the petition.
In Georgia, there are many processes and requirements for filing the will. Once you fill in the proper steps and requirements, you have to take the stock. Next, detail the assets in the documentation and the details about it to which they should transfer. When you have completed all the procedures according to the rules and regulations, it means that you have performed your duty well for the loved ones of a deceased person.
Frequently asked questions
Where do I file a will in Georgia?
For a will to be valid, it needs approval in the proper court. Different courts determine these types of things. So, you’ll need an attorney who knows what they’re doing when dealing with this type of legal issue.
The most important thing about having your house divided among heirs following a death is making sure everyone got something they were entitled to. All this, according to law and without any disputes arising from how the property after someone passes away. To probate the will, the executor is liable to file the original will with the applicant’s signature and, in most cases, ((Georgia Court Standard Form 5)).
How do I probate a will without a lawyer in Georgia?
The initial step to probate a will in Georgia is to file a petition to open probate with the court. The court will then appoint an executor if someone’s name appears in the will. If, in any case, there is no will, the court will nominate a personal representative.
What are the legal requirements for a will to be valid in Georgia?
The valid will in Georgia is a legal requirement that the testator must be 14 years old or older. Also being competent to create the will. The will should be in the document. Also, have the testator’s signature, and have the signatures by two witnesses.
Do all wills have to be probated in Gorge?
In Georgia, it is essential to file a will with the probate court. This is particularly a must if you plan to distribute properties and assets through the probate process. When a person creates a will, they will nominate a person to act as an executor or the personal administrative or representative.
What happens if you do not file the will?
If the parties don’t fill the will, the executor or anyone in possession of the signed person can be personally liable for the additional expenses incurred by the estate. This applies to its heirs, and family members. Any other person or the executor in possession of the will could be part of criminal sues if they did not file the will for personal attainment.
So if you want to avoid any tension and hassle in filing a will in Georgia, you can do it. If you follow the required steps, rules, and regulations, you will be ready. The process will become easy because the will is an important document that speaks after your death. Finally, it can offer the details of your assets and property to be distributed.
I’m a driven and accomplished law graduate and post-graduate, passionate about sharing my legal expertise via my blog. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of London (UK) and a Master’s in Law from the University of Derby (UK). Both gave me the foundational knowledge and skills to excel in my chosen career path.
Throughout my academic journey, I have gained extensive knowledge in various fields of Law, including Corporate and Business Law in the USA, Criminal Law, International Law, US Copyright law, and most importantly, American Constitutional law.
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