The Probate process operates to ensure that your assets move to the correct heirs upon your eventual passing. While a court will oversee this process, it has no authority to actually distribute the property. Instead, it must make determinations as to which people have the right under the law to inherit assets.
There are two main factors that a court considers when making this decision. If you create a Will, that document determines your beneficiary’s property rights. If there is no Will, or the Will is incomplete, the court will apply the state’s Intestacy statute. People with questions about Estate Distribution in Marietta should reach out to our knowledgeable attorneys. Nelson Elder Care Law can provide more information about the rules concerning asset assignment and how proper Estate Planning can help you retain control over this process.
Every Estate Plan should center around a Will. A Will dictates what a Probate court will decide are the property rights of all potential heirs. When creating a Will, you may decide to distribute your assets to any other person in any way that you want.
The Probate court will act to authenticate the Will to determine its authenticity. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 53-4-20, a court can presume a Will to be authentic if it contains your signature well as those of at least two witnesses who observed the signing.
In addition, through a Will you can nominate an executor to oversee the distribution of your property. Having a trusted person in place as an executor can help to ensure a quicker and more trustworthy Estate Distribution in Marietta.
As important as it is for a person to have a Will, situations can arise that prevent a person from making one or where a Probate court determines a Will to be invalid. In either case, the lack of a comprehensive Will means that the court will apply the state’s Intestacy statute to the estate.
Contained in O.C.G.A. § 53-2-1, the Intestacy laws determine which relatives have the right to inherit property in situations where a person dies without a Will. For example, if a person dies while married and with no children, the law says that the spouse will inherit the entire Estate. If a person dies with both a spouse and children, the spouse receives one-half share, and the children all receive equal shares of the remaining half. In the event that a person dies with neither a spouse nor children, the law states that siblings, parents, and other relatives may inherit. Consulting with our Marietta attorneys can help you understand how the state’s Intestacy laws could impact the distribution of your Estate.
The Probate courts rely on strict procedures when determining the property rights of heirs. Having a comprehensive will in place is the surest way to retain control over Probate.
Without a will, the court must apply the state’s Intestacy laws. If you have further questions about Estate Distribution in Marietta, you should reach out to Nelson Elder Care Law today. We can answer your questions and assist in crafting Estate Plans that leave your property to your intended heirs.
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