Probate is a court proceeding and the judicial process by which a person’s final debts are settled and legal title to property is formally passed from the decedent to his or her beneficiaries and heirs. The probate process is initiated in the county of the decedent’s legal residence at death. If the decedent signed a Last Will and Testament and nominated an executor, that executor will be in charge of completing the decedent’s affairs. The executor will collect the assets, pay the decedent’s final bills, and distribute the assets. In the absence of a Will, someone must petition the court to be appointed as the personal representative and perform the same function as an executor.
Probate steps the administrator or executor is responsible for:
- Filing of a petition with the Probate Court an complying with all notification requirements;
- Validating a will, if there is one, and resolving will contests;
- Obtaining court approval of the named personal representative;
- Collecting assets;
- Preparing an inventory of estate assets, if required;
- Resolving probate litigation or trust litigation as it arises;
- Paying estate debts to rightful creditors and disputing creditor claims as necessary;
- Selling of estate assets, if required;
- Preparing, filing, and paying final income tax returns for the decedent;
- Preparing, filing and paying estate taxes, if owed;
- Preparing final inventory (if required) and estate administration closing documents;
- Final distribution of assets to heirs;
- Closing the estate.
If you have lost a loved one and are faced with probate and estate matters, the attorneys at Shadrix, Lane & Parmer, P.C. can help you navigate through the Georgia probate laws and rules to identify any potential problems and efficiently execute the necessary and required probate tasks.
If you need legal assistance regarding the probating of an estate in Georgia, contact the law firm of Shadrix, Lane & Parmer, P.C. We charge competitive rates and will work around your schedule, including evening and weekend schedules by appointment. To contact us, call 770-830-0809.