As an Atlanta Estate Lawyer and in working for a Georgia Probate Law Firm, my experience has been that there are several rules of thumb to follow when opening and administering a Georgia estate in county probate court:
They are, in simplified form, as follows:
1. No Promises: Do not make any promises to heirs, beneficiaries or otherwise. Give general time frames adding on that old saying “if everything goes smoothly”, etc.
2. Georgia Estate Administration is a Long Process: The Georgia estate administration process takes months and even years. In knowing this, please be patient and manage expectations on the outer limits.
3. Remember Your Goals: The objective is to prove to the Georgia Probate Judge, that the administrator or executor who filed petition for letters of administration or letters testamentary, has the legal authority to administer the estate.
4. The Georgia Probate Court Will Want to See You Be Diligent and Thorough: Remember, a will is offered up for probate, not an estate. This means that the opening of the Georgia estate depends on how fast you can file the letters testamentary and “prove up” the will or “offer the will up for proof”. If there is no will, the heirs will have to decide who will be administrator and sign off on the on the acknowledgment of service and consent to probate instaner.
My experience as a Georgia probate attorney, has shown that the longer an estate is pending for being open to the estate administration process, the more likely beneficiaries and heirs are likely to begin to argue. When this occurs, disputes often begin and battle lines are drawn. I can not emphasize enough the importance of knowing how to explain matters in a fair and understandable manner.
The Libby Law Firm helps administrators and executors (called “personal representatives” under GA Probate law) carry out their fiduciary duties expeditiously, fairly and cost-efficiently. Our Firm also helps heirs and beneficiaries of Georgia probate estates when there is trouble ongoing in the estate administration, they desire to set forth a valid claim, or want they answers they deserve. Our Firm has extensive experience in Georgia probate guidance; Georgia probate disputes; Georgia probate litigation matters; and, estate mediation. Please feel free to contact us (404) 467-8611 to see how we can assist you. You can also send us a confidential e-mail through our contact us form via our Website. The Libby Law Firm is conveniently located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, GA near the intersection of Piedmont and Roswell Roads.