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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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