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Are heirs supposed to be notified when an estate is opened by a Georgia probate court?

what if heir will not sign form for probateToday’s probate law question comes from Atlanta, Georgia. Under Georgia probate law, all heirs of the deceased are entitled to receive notice when the probate case is filed with the court. This is the case whether or not there is a will.

Typically, the notice happens in one of two ways.First, the person filing the petition with the probate court may send the notice informally and request that the heir sign a consent that can be filed with the probate court. Any heir receiving a consent like this should be careful. Once the signed consent is filed with the court, the heir has given up his or her right to challenge the proposed executor’s or administrator’s petition.

If the heir does not sign the consent, then the probate court will send formal notice to the heir and provide them an opportunity to object to the probate petition that was filed. If the heir wants to file an objection, then he or she must move quickly because the deadline is typically shorter than two weeks. If you are in this situation and need to make an objection, I recommend that you hire a qualified probate lawyer to assist you so that you do not miss anything or lose any rights.

If an heir never signs a consent or receives formal notice from the probate court, then that is a problem. It means that whoever filed the petition left them out, and the heir must move very quickly to assert their rights. Georgia probate law allows notice by publication in the newspaper in some circumstances, and if this is happeneing, then the heir could lose their right to object by not acting qucikly. If you find yourself in this situation, I recommend hiring a probate attorney to help. This can be a complicated situation to fix.

If you would like to talk with us about a specific situation, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation. 

Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate lawyers 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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