Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
On January 1 2021, several important changes to Georgia Probate Code became effective. While many of the 2021 changes to Georgia Probate Code are very technical and will only apply in certain situations, there are others that will be applicable to wide range of scenarios. In this article we will look at three of the key 2021 changes to Georgia Probate Code and review additional changes in another article.
My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.
At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.
The first important 2021 change to Georgia Probate Code is to probate court deadlines.
Prior to the change, many response deadlines in probate court were 10 to 13 days.
For example, if a petition to open an estate were filed, anyone who wanted to object had only 10 to 13 days to file a formal objection.
Under the new rules, Probate Court deadlines are now expanded to 30 days by default.
But, that time period can be shortened by the Probate Judge on a case by case basis for good cause shown.
I believe this is a good change because having a full 30 days to respond to petitions in Probate Court removes the urgency of having a very short 10 day time period.
It also brings the Probate Court rules in line with the 30 day response rules for Superior Courts and State Courts.
The second key change is that claims against an estate that arose prior to the decedent’s death must now be brought against the estate within 6 years.
This new rule creates a hard cut off for creditors to pursue an estate, and is a welcome change.
It is important to note that claims that arise after the date of death are not subject to this rule.
Finally, the third important 2021 changes to Georgia Probate Code is that the Probate Court now has jurisdiction to hear many types of cases regarding Trusts.
Prior to this change, the Probate Court did not have any jurisdiction to hear issues involving Trusts.
As a result, we could often find ourselves in two courts at the same time: the Probate Court for issues involving the Will, and the Superior Court for issues involving the Trust.
Obviously, having two cases in two different courts would cause more delays and make the case more expensive.
This change allows the Probate Court to resolve both Will and Trust issues in the same court at the same time.
This is a great change.
There are a few more key changes involving Wills, and we will review them in another article.
Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.
If you are in a situation where you’re trying to settle an estate, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation with one of our probate lawyers.
If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.
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