Starting Probate in Georgia

Probate is a legal process that occurs after every person’s death in Georgia. The purpose of Probate is to ensure that the right parties receive their due share according to the terms of a person’s Will or the application of the state’s Intestacy laws.

Despite its importance, Probate never automatically starts. Probate courts only begin the process once they receive a valid application from a party with the authority to file this petition. In addition, there are other rules, such as time limits, that control when a court may initiate a case. Consulting with an experienced attorney at Nelson Elder Care Law could help you with starting Probate in Georgia if you were nominated as an executor in your loved one’s Will.

When to Initiate Probate in Georgia

Probate can begin almost immediately after your loved one’s death. The only potentially limiting factor in this decision is your ability to submit an application to obtain all necessary paperwork and information. Our lawyers can assist you in the gathering and organization of this data.

While Probate may start quickly after your loved one’s death, there is a maximum time limit after their passing for you to come forward. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 53-5-3 states that courts will only open a Probate case if it receives an application within five years of the death. If you have questions about this time limit, you should speak with our team at Nelson Elder Care Law.

Who Can Ask a Court to Start Probate?

Not just any person can ask a Georgia court to initiate a Probate proceeding. The O.C.G.A. § 53-5-2 grants the executor nominated in a person’s Will the first opportunity to start Probate. This person or organization should immediately get to work filing the necessary paperwork with the court.

However, if an executor does not perform their duty, or if the Will does not nominate an executor, other parties obtain the legal authority to act. These may include named heirs in the Will or direct relatives of the deceased.

Information Needed for a Comprehensive Probate Application

A complete Probate application will contain many pieces of vital information. Most important is the inclusion of the original copy of your loved one’s Will.

Other notable pieces of information include:

  • A copy of the death certificate
  • Lists of known creditors and heirs
  • Data about the decedent’s known assets

Hiring a seasoned attorney to handle the case could help you to obtain this vital information.

Call Our Georgia Attorneys for Help Starting Probate

Starting Probate in Georgia is the first step towards ensuring your loved one’s final wishes are followed through. Probate never starts on its own, and only certain people have the right to petition a court to initiate proceedings. In addition, an application for Probate must include key pieces of evidence about the death, your loved one’s property, and their Will.

Working with Nelson Elder Care Law can help guide you through this process. We are prepared to address your concerns and obtain the paperwork needed to initiate Probate when you are ready to move forward. Reach out to us now to schedule an appointment.

Hear From Our Clients

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce