Intestate is a term that is often used in probate situations, but what does it mean and why is it important? We will answer that question and more in this post.
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 here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our inheritance lawyers.
The term intestate is often used in estates and it has a very specific legal meaning. Intestate means a situation where the deceased did not leave a valid Last Will and Testament. It will often be used in the context of describing an estate, such as saying “this is an intestate estate” or “the deceased died intestate.” Both of those phrases would indicate that the deceased did not leave a valid Will.
It is important to note that an estate could be considered intestate because no Will was left at all, or because the document that was left does not qualify to be a Will under Georgia law. If a document was left, whether it is a valid Will is determined by the Probate Court.
Where there is no will, an Administrator will need to be appointed to represent and settle the estate. To accomplish this, a Petition must be filed with the Probate Court along, with other steps
. You will want to avoid taking action on the estate until that is completed, though. It is not uncommon for a person to make the mistake of taking action prior to being appointed and then having challenges in court later.
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.
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