When someone passes away in Georgia, their estate must be dealt with. When one has a will, the process is usually quicker, but even with an ironclad will, probate may still be required. Probate is the process by which one’s assets are divided. It can be difficult for loved ones to go through probate when they are already grieving the loss of a family member, but it’s often a necessary legal procedure to be sure all debts are paid, and all heirs receive their inheritance based on the wishes of the individual who died.
How probate works
When someone is estate planning, they should designate an executor, which is the person who will carry out their wishes after their death. The executor is responsible for locating and distributing assets according to the will and requests from any creditors that claim debts. When someone doesn’t have a will, which is called dying intestate, the court will appoint an executor.
Probate is the process where the court determines the validity of the will. The executor files the will with the probate court to begin the process. Creditors can ask for debts to be paid and potential heirs may raise disputes in some cases. During probate, the court will look at the will and consider disputes when determining how to distribute the assets. Without a will, the assets will go to the deceased person’s closest relatives.
Help with the probate process
Going through probate while already dealing with the loss of a loved one can be very difficult. Making the right decisions and understanding the will and other legal documents is challenging for those with limited knowledge of Georgia’s probate laws. That’s why it can be helpful to seek legal advice when going through the probate process.