What is probate? After a loved one passes away, most people usually know they need to do something with probate.
But, what is probate and what does it do?
In this article, we’ll go over some basics of probate 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.
What Is Probate?
Probate is a legal process used to settle the estate of a deceased individual.
Probate is required to legally transfer ownership of the deceased’s probate assets to the heirs at law or the beneficiaries of the will.
As a result, probate is necessary both with and without a will.
The probate process is overseen by the probate court.
Depending on the level of authority granted to the executor or administrator, there may be a little or a lot of court oversight.
The probate court will appoint an executor or administrator to manage the affairs of the estate and ensure the estate is settled according to Georgia Law and the terms of the will (if there is one).
We typically refer to administrators and executors collectively as a personal representative.
One of the key responsibilities of this personal representative is to ensure that the estate assets are handled properly and make decisions about estate property.
That means that the personal representative will often decide which assets are sold and which are kept.
In addition, the personal representative must follow Georgia Law when disbursing estate assets.
For example, creditors of the deceased must be paid in a certain order before the family receives anything, even if there is a will.
There are three phases that every estate must go through to be settled properly.
For an in-depth look at those three phases, take a look at this article.
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.