The administration of an estate in Georgia probate court can seem straightforward, but as a Georgia Estate Lawyer practicing Georgia probate law, I have met many executors and administrators that found the process to be more complicated than they initially thought. The common realization is that by retaining a lawyer at the outset of the proceedings, many common issues can be avoided and the probate proceedings will move forward more quickly with less cost. In addition, Georgia law closely regulates the fiduciary responsibilities of Georgia executors and administrators and so the consequences of making errors during the process are serious and can result in personal liability for the executor or administrator.
It is very common that most executors and administrators do not have a good understanding of what their fiduciary duties are until after the process starts and issues start to surface. One common issue is family infighting. Even in the most unified families, heirs and beneficiaries will try to steer the process in their favor. And although the executor/administrator may be a highly respected family member, this behavior can result in conflict that will drastically slow down the proceedings, as disputes are resolved. Not having a clear grasp of Georgia probate law, and the required timing of the proceedings, puts the executor/administrator at a disadvantage and hiring a probate attorney can restore the balance.
One fact that many executors and administrators are happy to discover is that the expense of hiring a probate lawyer is payable from the estate’s assets. Even related legal fees incurred before the executor or administrator took control of the assets are reimbursable. Another positive aspect to working with an experienced estate and probate attorney is that the attorney is an unbiased party who will professionally manage the process and handle all parties with fair treatment. Fair treatment is an especially important concept, as many executors and administrators are accused of unethical and self-serving behavior that can result in legal action against them, and ultimately lead to their removal.
By retaining an experienced Georgia probate lawyer, the Georgia probate process and timing can be adhered to properly, conflicts among heirs and beneficiaries can be prevented, the appearance of self-dealing by the executor/administrator can be avoided and the wishes of the deceased can be honored.
If you have been assigned to be executor or administrator of an estate, call a Georgia estate lawyer at The Libby Law Firm today to discuss how we can help you perform your duties with respect and efficiency. Our knowledgeable estate and probate attorneys are experienced in all facets of estate administration. Please contact us via our confidential web form or call us to speak to a lawyer about your estate administration responsibilities at (404) 467-8611. Our Firm’s Main Office is conveniently located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. We also have a convenient Marietta, Georgia office.