Being named the executor in a loved one’s will is an honor, but it can also lead to stress and confusion. After all, most people have never served as an executor before and are now facing responsibilities that they are unsure about how to handle. The following is a brief overview of probate in Georgia.
Probate: the first steps
Before an executor can be authorized to administer the will, the will must be proven in court. This means it will be deemed to be valid. The named executor will offer the will for probate. There are two types of probate in Georgia that the executor can select: common probate and solemn probate. If the executor chooses common probate, the will is not binding for four years. If the executor chooses solemn probate, after six months they will no longer be liable for the estate and their duties are complete.
First, a petition must be filed in probate court and initial filing fees must be paid. If there is no will or if there is one, the appropriate heirs must be notified and sign the petition either in the presence of a clerk of the court or a notary public. Beneficiaries, who are specifically named in the will, must be listed.
Court probate proceedings
After the will and petition are filed, a hearing will generally be held. At this hearing, the judge will discuss the petition and give the executor the power to administer the will under oath. A debtors and creditors notice will then need to be published in the area news. The estate’s assets will be valued and inventoried. Creditors and taxes will be paid out of estate assets. Then the heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate can be given their inheritance.
Learn more about probate
This is only a basic overview of probate in Georgia. There may be specifics not discussed in this post that affect you, depending on your unique situation. If so, it is helpful to take the steps necessary to learn more about the duties of an executor in Georgia.