In the beginning of the Georgia estate probate process, the Georgia probate court will assign an executor or administrator (also known as a personal representative) to manage the distribution of an estate. This occurs when no will exists. It also occurs when the executor named in a will cannot serve or does not want to serve, or when no executor is named. Many times when the Georgia probate court appoints an individual as a personal representative, this comes as a surprise to the appointee.
The initial surprise often changes to concern when the personal representative realizes the serious nature of their new role. The administrative responsibilities of personal representatives are fiduciary in nature and require knowledge and diligence to complete. Personal representatives who fail to complete their duties and fulfill the legal obligations required by Georgia probate law can be held liable for their actions. As an experienced Atlanta, Georgia Probate Attorney, I have handled countless probate disputes where personal representatives were accused of wrongdoing. In some cases there was true intent to deceive, while in other cases an innocent lack of understanding of the duties caused the issue. Either way, the personal representative can be held legally responsible.
Because the administrative tasks of Georgia executors and administrators are so complex, a North Georgia probate attorney can be retained to mitigate liability. An attorney will assist and guide personal representatives in their duties, drafting legal documents and ensuring that court deadlines are met. Besides protecting against personal liability, a GA estate proceeding lawyer should be retained to keep the probate process moving forward as quickly and efficiently as possible. Probate proceedings that are lengthy usually involve disputes or litigation between interested parties. And litigation costs the estate money, which is not in the best interest of the beneficiaries. So a personal representative that can administer the estate efficiently will ensure that the estate’s assets are intact and available for distribution when the proceedings conclude.
It is important to keep in mind that these legal costs are paid for by the estate. So North Georgia probate court personal representatives should not hesitate to retain legal counsel to assist them in performing their duties. If you have been named or appointed as a personal representative in a probate proceeding, the lawyers at ADAMS | MIHILL willl help you perform the required duties correctly. Please contact us to discuss your probate responsibilities at (404) 467-8611. Our experienced Atlanta, Georgia estate litigation attorneys are qualified to handle all types probate administration litigation in GA. The Firm’s Main Office is conveniently located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. We also have a Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia, probate litigation Law Office. You can reach the Marietta Office by calling (770) 952-1008.