What does a will do?
When a loved one passes away, the family will often search for a will.
When a will is found, there are often misconceptions about what the will can and can’t do.
In this article, we’re going to go over the key purposes of a will, so you’ll know what to expect.
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.
A will can be long or short. Either way, a will has a few primary purposes. So, what does a will do?
1. The will identifies how the probate property owned by the deceased should be divided.
This can be done in a number of different ways and can be very simple or very complex.
It could be as simple as a percentage split between family members or as complex as a list of various items of property and who each should go to, and everything in between.
2. The will identifies who should manage the estate.
That person is called an executor. Often, a will nominates a primary executor and one or two successor executors in case the primary executor cannot serve.
Occasionally, a will may identify two people to serve as executor together as co-executors.
This is less common and usually leads to problems.
3. The will often identified who should serve as the guardian of a minor child in the event that both parents pass away.
This designation is very important because the probate court will almost always respect the parent’s choice of guardian.
4. The will may provide special rules or considerations for how the estate should be handled.
The will may, for example, provide that the executor does not have to provide an inventory to the court and is exempt from having to file a bond, or the will may contain a trust to hold property for an extended amount of time.
There are many other special provisions, and each will must be reviewed to determine what they are and which provisions apply.
Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.
If you are in a situation where you need help navigating the Georgia probate process, 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.