In most cases, the Will should be probated. This means that the petition to probate should be completed and presented in proper form by the named Executor/Executrix or by someone selected by the majority of heirs and/or beneficiaries of the Will. The petitions will have a place for the petitioner to list all of the heirs at law, and a place for them to sign an acknowledgment and consent for the Will to be probated. Unless the Will is self-proving, you may need to locate one of the witnesses to the Will to answer an interrogatory about their role in the signing of the Will. Once the petition is complete it can be presented to the Probate Court in the county of the decedent's residence in Georgia or in the county where property of a non-resident is located.
Please note: All petitions must be filed in the Probate Court and filing fees tendered at the time of filing. Filing fees are non-refundable.
A Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form requires notice to all heirs and becomes binding upon all parties immediately upon entry of the final order. "Heirs" are those persons who would inherit the estate if there were not lawful Will; heirs may or may not be beneficiaries under the Will. The notice requires anyone having a legal cause to object or to contest the alleged Will to file an objection or contest before a certain deadline.
A Petition to Probate Will in Common Form may be done without notice to the heirs, but does not become binding for four years after the appointment of the Executor. heirs and others may file an objection or contest at any time up to four years after common form probate.
If there is a Will but the named Executor/Executrix is either unable or unwilling to serve, an Administrator C.T.A. (with Will annexed) must be appointed. A majority of the heirs and beneficiaries may select the Administrator C.T.A. Notice is required to all heirs and beneficiaries under the Will. The notice requires anyone having a legal cause to object or contest the alleged Will to file an objection or contest before a certain deadline.
A year's support is a means for the property to pass directly to the surviving spouse or minor child of the deceased. One of the benefits of a year's support is the elimination of certain taxes for property transferred (automobiles, farm equipment, boats, trailers, motor homes, and real estate). The year's support process is more complicated and may require an attorney to assist in the filing.
Probate of the Will is not necessary if there is no property to pass under the Will. The original Will must still be filed with the Probate Court. if the only property in the estate is an automobile, forms are available at the tag office for transfer of title without probate.
This petition is usually filed when another petition is pending before the Court. Notice to the heirs is not required, but a majority of the heirs may select the temporary administrator. Powers are limited to collecting and preserving the assets of the decedent, and the Court may appoint a temporary administrator upon any showing of necessity or appropriateness.
This petition is usually filed when the Will is thought to be in a safe deposit box. It permits the bank to open and examine the contents of the box in the presence of the petitioner. If a Will is found, the bank must deliver it directly to the Probate Court. Insurance policies may be delivered directly to the named beneficiaries. The petitioner may receive only burial instructions and any deed to a burial plot. Other property must remain in the box until an Executor or Administrator is appointed.
Hours of Operation
2020 Court Closings
99 Sims Street, McDonough, GA 30253
Main Phone: 770 288 7600
TTY: 770 288 6818
Probate Fax: 770 288 7616
Vital Records Fax: 770 288 7562
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