Probate Attorney Helping Clients After the Death of a Loved One in Forsyth County, GA
No matter where you live, the death of a loved one can lead to many difficult emotions. Along with sadness and loneliness, as you experience this loss, you may also have questions about how to settle the affairs of the deceased person. You may wonder how to distribute the estate when it includes investments, real estate, vehicles, and so on. This can place stress on family members and cause fighting and even a need for litigation. Even if the estate is uncontested, meaning the family agrees with how to administer the assets, probate can be confusing, with pitfalls that could be avoided if you have the help of an experienced attorney. In the state of Georgia, the probate process may be easier to handle than in many other states. However, there are several tricky aspects of probate that require help from Georgia probate lawyers.
That is where Bascom Law, P.C. steps in. We have years of estate planning experience, which gives us the know-how to be able to answer your questions and give your family the protection you need throughout probate. Probate court can be overwhelming and confusing, and it is the last thing you need to worry about during this difficult time as you mourn the loss of your loved one. Whether you are going through will disputes or if the family is in agreement and you just need advice on probate and estate administration, please contact us today. At our law firm, we value our clients and listen carefully to their needs and desires. Our entire staff will stand by you throughout the probate process to ensure that the execution of your loved one’s estate goes according to their wishes and with a minimal amount of cost and time for your family. Call us today for a free consultation at 770-285-5493.
What is Probate in the State of Georgia?
When someone dies in Georgia, the probate court ensures that their assets and estate are administered legally and fairly. This process may seem straightforward, but when an individual dies, it can quickly become apparent that estate administration is more complicated than you might think. For example, many people don’t even know where to begin when it comes to estate administration. Questions might arise about how to divide assets among living relatives when those items are things like real estate, vehicles, and retirement accounts. The probate process also settles any debts or taxes that the decedent, or deceased person, owes to creditors or the government. At Bascom Law, P.C., we have answers to these questions, as well as the legal knowledge necessary to handle unexpected issues that could arise when you go through probate.
Another aspect of probate in Georgia is that each probate court handles non-criminal matters that simply require paperwork. So, you may have visited these courts for things like a marriage license, weapons carry permit or license, fireworks permits, or the administration of oaths to elected officials. However, even with all this important legal activity, probate courts are not permitted to give legal advice. It is up to you to contact Georgia probate attorneys directly when you need help settling your loved one’s estate. By reading this article, you are doing the right thing already, which is educating yourself on the probate process. But a quick internet search will not satisfy all of the needs you have during probate. So contact our law firm today and set up a free appointment to speak with our experienced Forsyth County estate planning lawyer.
What Will Happen to My Loved One’s Estate during the Probate Process?
Georgia probate follows a set of specific and strict rules that a skilled estate planning attorney will understand and be able to explain to you. One of these is that for every case of estate administration, an individual must be set up as the executor. This person is responsible to oversee the administration of the state on behalf of the deceased person. Sometimes an executor is named in the decedent’s will. If not, the Georgia probate court can appoint the executor to distribute the money and property as best as they are able.
Another step during probate is to determine which type of probate will be accomplished during the process. One form of probate is known as solemn form probate. In this scenario, a formal notice is submitted to any parties who could be affected by the asset distribution. When the property is closed, the estate administration is legally binding. On the other hand, common form probate could be followed. The notice would not be sent, but the results are not binding for four years, so anyone with an interest in the will would have the chance to contest the decision.
Once the estate has begun to be distributed, a few steps must happen:
- All assets that belonged to the deceased person must be accounted for. This would include bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, investments, vehicles, and other property.
- All debts and taxes must be calculated and paid in full.
- Any remaining assets are administered to living heirs.
The details for the above steps vary depending on the size and nature of the decedent’s estate. For this reason, it is extremely important to consult with understanding Georgia probate lawyers who can help you through the probate process. Our law firm is pleased to help clients through this complicated process. We recognize that this can be a difficult experience as you mourn the loss of a loved one, and we will listen compassionately to your wishes while protecting your family’s financial interests.
Is Probate Necessary When the Deceased Person Had a Will?
Many people think that having a will means the family can avoid the probate process. That is not correct. In the Peach state, probate is almost always necessary. The clients who visit our law firm often wonder if setting up a will can help their family in the future, and while it does not help avoid probate, having a will is still extremely important to ensure your wishes are carried out after you die.
It is possible to arrange an estate plan so probate is avoided, but it will require using other tools and strategies than a Will.
When the estate goes through probate with a will, the executor is able to follow the directions necessary for distributing property to heirs according to the desires of the deceased person. Without a will, one of three possibilities could occur:
During this form of probate, all beneficiaries must be notified. Estate administration is determined by the spouse or heir of the deceased person if there is only one heir. If there are multiple beneficiaries, the majority decides who will administer the estate.
Notice to the heirs is not required for this form of probate. Beneficiaries would select an administrator or administrators to calculate the estate inventory.
This form of probate is fairly simple in that there is no debt to pay, and the beneficiaries agree on the division of the remaining assets in the estate.
When your family is going through the probate process with or without your loved one’s will, you need knowledgeable probate lawyers who value the attorney-client relationship and will listen carefully to your wishes. We will carefully review any available estate planning documents to get the ideal result for all parties involved. Call us by phone or visit our convenient office location right away for help with probate services in Cumming, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, or other surrounding communities.
Should You Hire a Probate Lawyer for Help Settling Georgia Estates?
Mourning the loss of a loved one is difficult enough without adding in the stress of estate administration and the emotional heartache this can add to a family. At Bascom Law, P.C., we have handled too many probate cases to count, giving us the experience and information we need to help you through this time as well. As we discuss your family’s needs, we will pay close attention to your feelings on the matter as we strive to protect you financially. Please call right away to get started at 770-285-5493.