What are the expanded powers of the executor of a will?

What are the powers of the executor of a will?

This is a common question we get asked at our office.

The default rule in Georgia is that the executor or administrator will have limited powers.

However, when an executor or administrator has been granted expanded probate powers by the probate court, the process of settling the estate can happen more quickly, with less complexity, and at a much lower cost. 

Since having expanded powers can make such a difference in how the estate is handled, we will review some key ways to obtain expanded powers in this article.

My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.

What are the powers of the executor of a will

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.  

Having expanded powers helps an executor simplify the estate in a number of different ways. 

One of the most important ways is being able to avoid the costs and delay of filing additional petitions with the court and having additional hearings with the court over issues like selling the estate home.

Two Primary Ways To Obtain Expanded Powers

What are the powers of the executor of a will

There are two primary ways to obtain expanded powers.

First, if your loved one left a will, the first place to look for expanded powers is in the will itself. 

It is not uncommon for a will to list specific powers that an executor will have or to reference a code section from Georgia law that contains a long list of additional powers for an executor.

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If no will was left, or the will does not provide any additional powers, then there is a still a second way to secure expanded powers. 

This second way will require the unanimous consent of all heirs and beneficiaries. 

Unfortunately, if even one heir or beneficiary will not consent, then the court cannot authorize the expanded powers. 

If everyone is in agreement, however, then each interested party can sign a consent form and those forms can be filed with the court along with a request for expanded powers. 

The probate judge has the power to either grant or deny the request, but it is not uncommon for the powers to be given when everyone is in agreement.

Next Steps: 

Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.

If you are in a situation where you need help settling an estate correctly, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation.

If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.

What are the powers of the executor of a will