Perhaps you have heard the word “probate” but are not sure what it is? Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing assets after a person has died. It is frustrating, time-consuming, open to the public, and can be quite expensive. Many clients ask us how long the probate process takes. While every estate is unique, the answer typically depends on the size of the estate, its complexity, and the schedule of the probate court. Most Georgia probates take about nine months, but some go on for considerably longer.
A “typical” probate requires all of the following:
- Filing a petition to appoint an Executor (if there is a Will) or an Administrator with the probate court
- Give Notice to heirs named in the Will or, if there is no Will, to statutory heirs
- Provide an Accounting and Inventory of all estate assets
- Payment of estate debt to creditors
- Sale estate assets
- Payment of estate taxes
- Final distribution of assets to heirs and beneficiaries
Much of our practice is devoted to helping families avoid probate altogether. However, if you are faced with the prospect of dealing with the Georgia probate court, we can guide you through the process compassionately and as efficiently as possible.
There are a wide range of trusts, capable of accomplishing many different goals. As part of your comprehensive plan, we can design and implement a trust, or combination of trusts, to meet all of your needs now and for generations still to come. In addition, we can administer your trust, accurately and efficiently, by working closely with your existing fiduciaries, insurance professionals, accountants, and other trusted advisors. We will provide the clear direction necessary to ensure that the assets in the trust are properly accounted for in accordance with court rules, minimize expenses, and make sure assets held by the trust are distributed according to the stipulations of the trust and the grantor’s wishes.
If you are responsible for dealing with the probate court or administering a trust, contact us today. As probate & trust lawyers, we understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family. We will guide you through either process compassionately, efficiently and with a minimum of stress.