How Long Does the Probate Process Generally Take?
If there are no objections, the whole probate process typically takes about a year. If a party does object, alleging undue influence, fraud, forgery or any of the other grounds under Georgia law to which a Will can be objected, then the process can potentially take multiple years.
Is Probate an Expensive Process for The People Involved?
For an uncontested estate, the process is relatively inexpensive. The attorney will likely do a limited amount of work, keeping costs low. However, if the estate is hotly contest requiring multiple hearings and extensive administrative costs, it can be quite expensive.
This is a major reason we work with our clients and opposing parties to settle disputes as soon as possible. It is rarely in the interest of anyone associated with an estate to have a multiyear dispute. We want everyone to feel that the outcome was fair and to preserve the memory of the deceased in the most positive way possible.
How Can an Attorney Help to Expedite the Probate Process?
We work with our clients advising them on their estate planning in such a way that we can avoid this negative impact even before it happens. Planning is the key. Planning before someone passes away makes it a lot easier at the other end. But in a scenario where we have two parties that strongly disagree; our goal at that point is to work with each side and try to make a compromise that everyone can live with.
A lot of people come in thinking they are going to go in with guns blazing and get as much of it as possible, but in real life, most estates are not so big that it can withstand years of litigation without harming all the parties. For the most part, the litigants are family members and it takes a really hard toll on their relationships to be fighting with someone for that long. Our goal at that point is to try and work together to see what common ground we can find and hopefully work through mediation or any other alternative process to see how we can compromise on everything.
Can Somebody Navigate Through the Probate Process Themselves?
The probate process in Georgia is not impossible to navigate on your own. For very simple estates, it may be advantageous to go on your own, if you are comfortable filing legal documents. I think our clients get a lot of advantages from talking with me, having me do the hard work, and having me explain what is happening and what their rights are.
We help people understand their legal rights while working together in a cooperative spirit. Probate in Georgia is not terribly difficult, but a lot of times people do it in a way that is harms themselves, the heirs, and beneficiaries of the estate.
What is The General Expected Outcome Once the Probate Process is over?
When it is all over, all of the assets have transitioned from the name of the deceased to the names of the beneficiaries of the Will. All the debts will have been either paid in full, compromised, or settled in some way.
What Sets Your Firm Apart in Handling Estate Planning and Probate Matters?
We have many years of experience handling estate planning and probate. By doing both, we understand what kind of issues will arise. We work with our clients to address them ahead of time before the real disputes arise. We know enough probate that we can affirmatively take steps to prevent a dispute from happening months and years in advance. This kind of experience gives us an edge in preventing disputes and winding down disputes before they get a life of their own.
Additional Information Regarding Probate in Georgia
If anyone has any doubts or questions, it is better to talk with an attorney as soon as possible. Heirs and beneficiaries need to understand exactly what the will says and how it impacts them.
It’s important to know that under Georgia law, every will has to be filed within the local probate court in the county where the deceased resided in a reasonable period of time following the death. Failure to do can lead to a ruling of contempt for the person refusing to file it.
Finally, people often do not realize that probate does not have to be a difficult process. Just have a good attorney that will give you smart advice, have everything organized, and take care of the hard stuff for you. Our firm has the experience to do this.
For more information on Timeline of the Probate Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (404) 939-7562 today.
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