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Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.

    How do you know if you will need to go through probate to handle real estate?

    Real estate is often the single largest asset in an estate.  Sometimes real estate can be transferred outside of the formal probate process, while other times the only way to handle real estate is by opening the estate.  How do you know which one applies to your situation?  We will cover that and more in this post.

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    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. Everything discussed in this video is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our inheritance lawyers.

    Common scenarios when you need or don’t need to open an estate

    Sometimes you must open an estate to handle real estate, while other times the property can be transferred outside of the estate. To illustrate, we’ll go through some common scenarios.

    First, if the deceased owned real estate by themselves, and no one else was on the title, then probate will be required because the only way to sell the property or transfer title is through a lawfully appointed administrator or executor.

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    If the deceased owned the property with another person, however, then whether probate is required will depend on how the property is titled. The reason for this is that there are two ways that multiple people can own property together in Georgia.

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    The first way is called tenants in common. When a property is held as tenants in common, it means that when one owner dies, then half of the property goes into their estate. As a result, the deceased’s estate must be opened in order to sell or transfer that half of the property.

    The second way that two people can own property together is called joint tenants with rights of survivorship. When a property is owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, it means that when one owner dies, that person’s ownership in the property passes to the other joint owner automatically. As a result, the estate does not need to be opened in probate court to handle the real estate.

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    For more information about this and other probate topics, please go to GPLG.com/Handbook to download a complimentary copy of our Georgia Probate Handbook. You’ll learn the key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.

    You also can reach out to our office at (770) 796-4582 to set up a consultation.

    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.

    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.

    More about Erik
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