Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s assets are distributed. Before you go through the process of probate for your loved one’s estate in Georgia, it helps to understand what’s involved and the general timeline.
How long does probate take? Read on to find out long probate takes and what you need to know before you enter the proceedings.
Does the Estate Need to Go Through Probate?
Not every estate is required to go through probate, however, to avoid any costly legal conflicts, probate is always recommended by experts.
When there is no will, or an estate exceeds Georgia’s small estate threshold, probate may be required. In cases where there is no will, Georgia statutes will determine how property is distributed.
It’s always best to have a will and not leave your estate to chance.
The Probate Process
When you’re going through probate, you’ll need to know the various steps that occur.
The first step is your appointment with a probate attorney. Prior to your meeting ask them what you should bring. This can include important documents, such as the Last Will and Testament (if one exists), a copy of any paperwork already filed with the courts, financial records of the deceased, property titles, and any other relevant document your attorney requests.
From there, your attorney will guide you through every step of the way. Generally, the process requires the following steps:
- Validation of the Will if one exists
- If no executor is named, the court will appoint an administrator
- Notify any potential heirs or beneficiaries
- Get an inventory of the decedent’s assets
- Pay off any debts and taxes as required by law
- File a Petition for Discharge
- Distribute Remaining Assets
Every probate case is different, so there may be additional necessary steps to take. Consult with an attorney for a thorough explanation of each step required.
How Long Does Probate Take?
When you start the probate process in Georgia, the first question that is usually asked is “How long does probate take?”
The answer is…it depends. There are a lot of variables involved, from filing paperwork to the probate court’s schedule.
The process of probate generally takes anywhere from six months to a year. As you go through the process, be aware that multiple steps must first be completed before the case is discharged and assets are distributed.
It can take even longer if there are any disputes. Depending on the complexity, some estate disputes may take years to resolve. The process can be expedited by working with an experienced probate attorney.
Need Help with Probate? Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates!
The death of a loved one is a devastating loss. When you have to go through the probate process, it can be stressful and difficult to understand.
The keys to a successful probate are patience and an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.
Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates at (770) 933-9009 today for a consultation!