Answers to Common Questions and Situations

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My Loved One Left a Will, Why Do I Need to Go Through Probate?

Your loved one has passed away and has left a will outlining their last wishes. If you have the will, then why go to Probate Court? A very common misconception is that if there is a will then probate isn’t necessary. We will discuss this topic in this post and explain why probate is still necessary even when a will has been left behind.

probate willMy name is Erik Broel, and I am the founder and 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 post 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.

A will is an incredibly important instrument. It is set up to outline the last wishes of your loved one. Many times, the will names an Executor. The Executor is the person who has been chosen to ensure that everything is handled properly. The will also dictates who the beneficiaries are and what each person should receive from the estate.

For a will to be considered valid, however, it must be filed with the Probate Court and approved by the Probate Judge.  This process gives other heirs in the situation an opportunity to contest the will if they believe that the will is invalid. To begin the process of probating the will, a petition must be filed with the probate court.  Often times, the heirs will be asked to sign documents stating that they agree with the validity of the will. Then, those documents and the petition are filed with the Probate Court. If the will is valid and no objections are filed, the Probate Court will issue an order formally recognizing the Last Will and Testament of the deceased and appointed the Executor to manage the estate.

Once the Executor is formally appointed the Executor has the authority to handle the estate and begin to settle everything. It is important to note that even though you may be named an Executor in the will, you do not have the authority to make decisions regarding the estate until the Probate Court issues Letters Testamentary.

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 theyprobate will happen.

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

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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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