Probate Process

The whole purpose of a probate process is to protect the estate of a deceased person from any chances of possible fraud. There could be two scenarios to a probate process. Both of them are discussed below:

Considerations and Matters Involved When There Is a Will

Where the deceased leaves a will, the probate process usually involves establishing the validity of the will, appointment of an executor, and rightful distribution of the estate. Here’s how the process goes:

  • A petition needs to be filed in the decedent’s resident county court.
  • Submitting the original will and supporting evidences for proving finality and validity of the will.
  • Once the validity is established, the court issues a letter of testamentary to the “executor”. The executor could be someone appointed by the will itself or by the court in case the will doesn’t appoint one.
  • The executor is then under the fiduciary duty to execute the will. This may include notifying creditors, paying off debts and taxes, and administering the estate as per the deceased’s wishes.

Considerations and Matters Involved When There Is No Will

Where a person dies without a will, the probate process is dealt in accordance with the laws of intestate. In this scenario, the court takes the responsibility of appointing an administrator for the deceased’s estate who takes charge of the duties that are otherwise performed by the executor when the deceased actually leaves a will.

  • A petition needs to be filed in the decedent’s resident county court.
  • Where the decedent is not a resident of Georgia, the petition needs to be filed in the State where most of the deceased’s estate is located.
  • The court may assign anyone with a sound mind as the administrator of the deceased’s estate. However, preference is given to the surviving spouse or next of kin.

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