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What happens when an heir is located outside US and wants to consent to a probate petition?

consent to a probate petitionThis week’s probate question comes from someone in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia probate law does not require that an heir be in Georgia, or even in the United States in order to consent to a probate petition, or participate in probating an estate. All that Georgia probate law requires is that the signature of the person signing the consent be notarized. As a result, legally, there is no problem with having someone in a foreign county consent to a probate petition.

As a practical matter, however, there can be some interesting challenges. Our office dealt with a situation like this recently where the other party was in France. The practical problem we faced was that the French notary was not willing notarize a document unless it was in French. Unfortunately, if the consent were translated to French and signed, then the local probate court would not accept it because it was not in English. The only practical solution to this type of dilemma is to have the person located in the foreign county go to the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to have the document notarized and sent back to the U.S.

Our Georgia probate lawyers recommend that our clients have foreign heirs go to the U.S Embassy or Consulate first to save time an energy. I recommend that you do the same.

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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