Answers to Common Questions and Situations

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2021 Changes to Georgia Probate Code – Part 2

On January 1, 2021, several important changes to Georgia Probate law became effective. In this article, we will focus on key changes to Georgia Probate Code that effect estates where the deceased left a Will.

2021 Changes to Georgia Probate Code

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.

2021 Changes to Georgia Probate Code

Personal Property Designation.

The first change to Georgia probate code provides an

additional option for a person to designate how personal property should be handled when there is a Will.

Historically, all instructions regarding the disposition of property had to be included in the Will itself.

With this change, however, Georgia law allows for a separate list to be created that identifies the disposition of personal property (but not money or real estate).

The list can be created either before or after the Will is signed, but to be effective the Will MUST mention that the list exists.

2021 Changes to Georgia Probate Code

Offering a Will for Probate Deadline.

The second change to Georgia probate code establishes a deadline for offering a Will for probate.

Under the new law, a Will must be offered for probate within 5 years after the appointment of a personal representative or the granting of a petition for no administration necessary.

As a result, this change only affects situations where an estate is opened and a Will is later found.

In these scenarios, the newly discovered Will can only be offered if it is within 5 years of the Probate Court’s order on the original petition that was filed to open the estate.

In addition to these changes, there are a few more important changes that are generally applicable. We reviewed those changes in part one of this series.

Next Steps in Navigating 2021 Changes to Georgia Probate Code

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.

2021 Changes to Georgia Probate Code


Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate attorneys provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.


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About the author

Erik J. Broel
Founder & ceo

Erik founded the firm in 2009. He sees it as his personal mission to demystify the process of handling an estate or trust, and to help people by making the complex estate process simple and accessible. He believes there is always a better way to do things, and loves finding new and innovative ways to deliver better, more effective service that solves the client’s key problem or issue, and improves the client’s life.

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