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What should you expect out of the probate process?

| May 28, 2021 | Probate |

The passing of a loved one is not an easy experience to bear. Even if you anticipated the person’s passing, you likely hoped that time would slow down and you could be together for as long as possible. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and as the executor of your loved one’s estate, you will need to see that estate through the probate process in Georgia.

Understandably, you may not know exactly what to do to ensure that your loved one’s estate is settled properly. Fortunately, you do not have to try to navigate this process on your own. However, it is still wise to understand what you must do as well as possible as you prepare to close the estate.

What steps are required?

As the executor, you will have many responsibilities to handle, and you may have to face many questions from other loved ones who want updates on the probate process. It can seem overwhelming at times, which is why it is important to stay focused and organized. When getting a general sense of what probate involves, you may want to look further into the following broad steps that are expected:

  • Filing your loved one’s will with the probate court for validation and authentication
  • Formally taking on the role of executor and obtaining the legal power to handle your loved one’s affairs
  • Finding and creating an inventory of your loved one’s assets
  • Determining the values of the assets that make up the decedent’s estate
  • Protecting assets so that none go missing before it is time to distribute them in accordance with the will
  • Determining whether your loved one had remaining creditors and notifying any creditors about his or her passing
  • Paying the creditors as applicable
  • Filing the final tax returns for the estate
  • Distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries as your loved one dictated in the will

It may seem like these steps are relatively straightforward, but complications can arise that you may not have expected. In some cases, complex assets, family disputes and more could result in probate lasting months or even years. As a result, you may want to prepare yourself and make sure that you feel capable and ready to take on this potentially challenging role. If you do not feel confident that you can handle it, remember that you can decline to take on the position, and the court will appoint someone.

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