Brothers and sisters often act as our first best friends, and many of us stay close to them through the years. Even in cases where siblings live out of state or contact with one another is more infrequent, a strong bond often exists. Estate planning allows for you to provide for the needs of these loved ones in the event of your passing. By creating a last will and testament, you can name siblings as beneficiaries, outlining any assets or property you want them to receive. Without a legally valid will or other estate planning documents, such as a trust, in place, siblings have limited inheritance rights in Georgia probate proceedings.

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.