Probate is a court-supervised process that verifies a will is authentic, provided the deceased made one. This process goes beyond simply confirming the will is valid, e.g. that the deceased drafted and signed it. It also provides court oversight, through a court-appointed personal representative (PR—an executor or administrator) for such activities as locating and determining the value of the decedent’s assets, paying his final bills and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries.
Each U.S. state has specific laws in place to determine what’s required to probate an estate. In Georgia, all wills must be probated, even if a trust is in place. However, under certain circumstances, probate can be skipped if all heirs agree. (To learn more about this unique situation, give the experts at Turner Law a call.)
Assuming there is no probate dispute (a court fight over the will) or unexpected, unrecognized creditor claims, the Georgia probate process takes approximately 8-12 months. Not all assets must go through probate, and with the assistance of a qualified attorney like Robert Turner, you can transfer many of your assets to a tenancy status that will place them outside the probate process when you die.
During probate, the estate’s PR faces a variety of responsibilities, including paying debts and taxes, confirming open accounts and balances, and other financial tasks. Additionally, they must prepare complex, lengthy reports and distribute them to heirs and beneficiaries until the estate is closed. Assets can be consolidated by the PR, but in order to sell assets to meet estate obligations, the PR will usually need to go back through the courts. The attorneys at Turner Law can assist with all of these responsibilities, lightening the burden of the PR, who may not be adequately compensated for their time.
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To explore more estate planning topics and learn how Robert Turner and the experts at Turner Law can minimize complexity for you and your heirs, call phone number(404) 377-6941 for a free phone consultation or request a consultation via our website.