Answers to Common Questions and Situations

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What Does Testate Mean?

Testate 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.

died testate

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 testate is often used in estates and it has a very specific legal meaning. Testate means a situation where the deceased left a valid Last Will and Testament.  It will often be used in the context of describing an estate, such as saying “this is a testate estate” or “the deceased died testate.”  Both of those phrases would indicate that the deceased left a valid Will.

It is important to note that whether a Will is valid is determined by the Probate Court.  So, while the Deceased may have left a document with the title Last Will and Testament, the document is only considered to be the official Will after the Probate Court has issued an order admitting it to Probate.  For that to happen, a petition must be filed with the Probate Court along with other steps.

Likewise, the Executor identified in the Will does not have any power and is not considered to be an Executor until after he or she is appointed by the Probate Court.  A common mistake that can land you in hot water is acting like an Executor before being formally appointed.

died testate meaning georgia

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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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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