In my Atlanta, Georgia Probate Law Firm, I have represented clients in many Georgia estate disputes that were the result of poor management of estate assets during the probate proceeding. Probate can be a complex process and Georgia law provides guidelines for probate proceedings and outlines specific duties for the personal representatives (also referred to as executors and administrators) that are appointed to manage the estate during probate. These tasks must be carried out according to Georgia’s law on fiduciary duty which is imposed and closely regulated by Georgia state law. Typical fiduciary duties of Georgia executors and administrators include, but are not limited to, identifying, locating and collecting estate assets, making outstanding payments on behalf of the estate and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Failure to carry out such fiduciary duties is referred to as a breach of fiduciary duty. There are a number of remedies which the court can impose for a breach of fiduciary duty.
One of the requirements of Georgia probate law is that the fiduciary duties carried out by administrators and executors are completed with the best interests of the heirs and beneficiaries at heart. In fact, the word fiduciary is defined as “involving trust” and it is this trust that is often the missing ingredient in the probate process. As a highly experienced team of Atlanta, Georgia Probate Litigation attorneys, we have often witnessed the emotional and financial carnage created by self-dealing and untrustworthy executors and administrators. Unfortunately, in today’s economic climate we are seeing the abuse and breach of Georgia fiduciary duties occur more frequently.
Yet not all Georgia estate disputes are the result of intentional acts of deception or wrongdoing. Due to the complexity of Georgia probate law, many competent and well-meaning executors and administrators get lost in the process, missing filing dates and misunderstanding requirements. For this reason it is wise to retain the services of a qualified Georgia probate attorney. A Georgia probate attorney will help executors and administrators fulfill their duties fairly and completely, as well as assist heirs and beneficiaries who want to ensure that their interests are represented.
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