After the death of a loved one, his or her estate may need to go through probate. When probate and estate administration issues arise, clients turn to the experienced lawyers at Boling Rice LLC for help.
Probating An Estate
Probate is the court-supervised legal process of managing and protecting the deceased’s assets, paying off any debts and distributing remaining property to the heirs of an intestate estate or to the beneficiaries of someone’s last will and testament. Not all estate assets need to go through probate and many people utilize estate planning tools to avoid probate. Assets held in a trust, owned in joint tenancy or designated to a beneficiary outside of a will, such as a life insurance policy, are exempt from probate.
The probate process generally involves one or more of the following:
- Filing a petition with the probate court
- Notifying the decedent’s heirs and creditors
- Appointing an executor, generally named in the will, or an estate administrator if the deceased had no will
- Inventory and appraisal of the decedent’s assets
- Paying creditors with valid debts
- Sale of estate assets
- Paying final income and estate taxes
- Distributing remaining assets to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries.
Potential Legal Problems
Probating an estate generally takes less than a year, but the time frame can differ for especially complex estates or if someone contests the will. To contest a will, a person must have legal grounds. Georgia allows a person to contest a will on the following grounds:
- Mental incapacity
- Inadequate execution
- Undue influence
Our experience in estate administration and probate enables us to identify potential problems and close out an estate efficiently. We strive to make the process as streamlined and convenient as possible.
Contact Our Office
To schedule an appointment to discuss your estate administration and probate concerns with one of our attorneys, please call our office at 770.887.3162 or fill out our contact form. Our estate lawyers represent executors, administrators and trustees within the North Georgia and metro Atlanta areas. We also assist out-of-state clients with probate duties in Georgia.