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 does the probate court select an Administrator for the estate when there is no Will? Who is eligible to serve? In this post, we will answer these questions and more.
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 post is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go to here to request a complimentary consultation.
When there is no Will in an Estate, the probate court will appoint an Administrator to manage and settle the Estate. The Administrator has a large amount of authority to determine how the Estate will be settled and what will happen to the Estate assets. For example, the Administrator will have the sole authority to determine which assets are sold and which are retained by the Estate for later distribution to the heirs. The speed at which the Administrator handles the Estate will also determine how quickly the Estate is wrapped up. So, who is selected as administrator is an important decision.
If all of the heirs make a unanimous selection, the Probate Court will often appoint that person as Administrator.
If the heirs do not make a unanimous selection, then the Probate Court will select the person that the Court feels will best serve the interests of the Estate. When making that determination, the Court will utilize the following priority list as guidance:
1. The surviving spouse (unless an action for divorce was pending at death)
2. An heir selected by a majority of the heirs
3.Any other eligible party
4. A creditor
5. The County Administrator
It is important to note that the Court is not required to follow the list above – the judge has a wide range of discretion to appoint the person he or she feels is best for the Estate. So, if you have reason to believe that a person nominated as Administrator is unfit to serve, then it is important that you file a legal objection.
For more information about this and other probate topics from a probate lawyer, 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.
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