In Georgia, a will does not have to be notarized. However, there is a special notarized document that can be included with the will that makes the probate process easier. This document is sometimes called an “attestation clause” or referred to as an affidavit that self-proves a will.

Georgia has very specific rules of inheritance for those who die without leaving behind a will. The legal term is “intestate” when someone dies without a will. For example, brothers and sisters may ask what about sibling inheritance or do brothers and sisters have inheritance rights? What about a person’s nieces and nephews? The answer depends on whether the person had a spouse or children.

When preparing an estate plan, often one of the primary goals is to avoid the process known as probate. Having an account payable on death instead of passing through probate will allow your wishes to be implemented almost immediately upon your death. There are a variety of estate planning tools available for avoiding probate. One of the simplest is a bank account beneficiary designation.

As you prepare to go through the process of probating a loved one’s estate, it is important to set reasonable expectations. When the process does not go as smoothly as you might expect, you can easily feel frustrated by the rules, processes, and waiting periods involved. Conversely, if you are unnecessarily apprehensive about probate, you may feel too overwhelmed to think clearly about the process.