Everything You Need to Know About Georgia Probate Forms

 

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General Instructions for Georgia Probate Forms

Are you looking for help filling Georgia probate forms? Perigon Legal Services has got your back. Contact us today. We will work with you in every step of the process.

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Perigon Legal Services, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on June 15, 2023.

A loved one’s death leaves you devastated. It is not your best time to fill out forms and deal with probate issues. Unfortunately, they are necessary and must be attended to. Thus, it is essential to understand how Georgia probate works.

The Georgia probate court system has its unique rules and procedures. Some forms are only used for probate issues. They have no other purpose. Georgia probate forms are used for wills, testaments, and guardianship.

Probate forms can be filled by the named executor or the one appointed by the court. You could be mourning and not in a fit mental state to deal with property distribution issues or dissolving the deceased’s estate. You can hand your case to Perigon Legal Services and mourn in peace.

So what Georgia probate forms do you need to know about? Can you skip the probate court process in Georgia? Here is how a law firm can help you with probate issues.

Georgia Probate Court Forms

For probate matters in Georgia, you can find the standard probate forms online or visit the Georgia probate courts. You can download them and file them before printing.

Although this sounds simple in most cases, it is not. That is why it is advantageous to seek the counsel of an experienced Georgia probate attorney to guide you. The probate staff can only offer you general guidance on probate issues.

Common Georgia Probate Forms

A probate attorney can offer guidance on issues such as the duties of a guardian ad litem. They can also provide information about how to fill the forms or phrase information in the forms. Here are three common Georgia probate forms:

  • Petition for temporary letters of administration: This form is for petitioning the court to appoint someone to take control of the deceased’s estate. This form allows them to “hold” the estate, not distribute or close it.
  • Petition for Permanent Letters of Administration: This form is used when the person dies intestate(without a will). It is a petition for the court to grant the person authority over the estate. These forms allow them to act as the executor of the estate.
  • Petition for letters of permanent guardianship for a minor: This form is a petition for the probate court to allow a person to be a permanent guardian for a minor. This form is necessary when the minor has lost both of their parents. That is pertinent when minors do not have any natural, testamentary, or permanent guardians.

How to Probate a Will in Georgia Without an Attorney

Two types of probates exist in Georgia: solemn and common probate. Personal representatives file solemn probate forms if they believe someone will contest the will. After filing a solemn probate, all potential heirs receive a notice. The common probate form is for non-contentious proceedings.

Suppose the departed named you an executor of their will. That requires you to probate it at Georgia probate courts. You need to notify the probate court of the death to probate a will. It would help if you got the following:

  • The probate petition form

  • A copy of the death certificate

  • The Will that the deceased executed

When filling out the petition, include the estimated value of the decedent’s assets. You should also ensure you have informed all the interested parties.

The next step is for the interested parties to consent and sign the petition and will. It is now time to notify all the potential beneficiaries.

Following this, you need to change the legal name of the assets. Change it from the decedent’s name to “The Estate of” and then insert the decedent’s name.

You must file the original signed will and the petition to probate the will. The court ensures that the document you filed is the genuine will of the decedent.

Once that is done, you can start distributing the decedent’s property. You should pay all the decedent’s creditors. Then, you can distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. The final step is reporting to the Georgia probate court and closing the estate.

You can probate a will without hiring an attorney. But this is not advisable. If you make mistakes in filling out the forms, your probate will take longer.

How You Can Skip Probate in Georgia

You may want your loved ones to avoid probate. It is possible if you plan well when alive. Here are other options.

Payable on Death (P.O.D.) Designations for Bank Accounts

You can have a P. O.D. designation on your savings account and certificates of deposits. You can do this for any other bank accounts you have. You will still control your money. You can deposit and withdraw without issues for as long as you live.

Your beneficiary can claim the money from the bank upon your death. No questions asked and no probate issues.

Transfer on Death (T.O.D.) for Securities

You can register your stocks and bonds in the transfer of death/beneficiary form. Upon your demise, the beneficiary you name will not go through probate. They will still deal with the brokerage company to transfer the account.

Joint Ownership

Do you own property jointly with another person? They automatically own it upon your death. However, they will deal with the paperwork to reflect that they now fully own the property. This method is more straightforward than the probate process.

Living Trusts

You can create a living trust for any property you own. First, create a trust document similar to a will. In the document, you will name the person who will take over as trustee after your death.

The second step is to transfer the properties to yourself as the trustee. Ensure you fill out all the forms. That way, the trustee will take over after your death without probate proceedings.

Can Perigon Legal Services Help You With Your Probate Forms?

Probate issues can take a long time to resolve, especially if the estate is significant and there is no living will. You will have to fill out many forms, which may need to be clarified. If you fill in the wrong documents, the probate case will take longer.

Hiring an attorney who understands Georgia estate law can simplify the process. They will start the probate case and fill out the probate forms. They can ensure you have all the necessary documents. The right attorney will advise you on various probate issues, such as guardians, beneficiaries, etc.

If you want to avoid probate, contact a skilled lawyer. Attorneys at Perigon Legal Services are ready to help you start planning your estate. That way, when the time comes, your estate will transition smoothly to your loved ones.

Planning your estate is vital. An experienced probate attorney can advise you. Additionally, our estate and business lawyers can help you to avoid probate.

Do you have any probate questions? Contact us today. We are ready to answer questions and offer any support you need.

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