The Probate process exists to authenticate testamentary documents, ensure the proper Administration of an Estate, and allow heirs to collect assets that they deserve. This process begins when an authorized party submits an application to the Probate court to initiate proceedings.
However, according to state law, only certain people have the power to do this. In addition, only certain Probate courts have jurisdiction to open proceedings after your eventual passing.
Fortunately, our seasoned lawyers at Nelson Elder Care Law can assist with opening an Estate in Probate in Marietta. This includes offering guidance to named executors and other parties about how to submit a Will to the court.
One of the primary purposes of Probate is to authenticate your Will. Of course, this is only possible if the court possesses the document. Under Georgia law, only certain people have the authority to submit a Will to the court.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 53-5-2 says that the executor named in your Will has the initial legal authority to offer the document for Probate. It is only if that executor fails to come forward or if an executor does not exist that other interested parties may offer a Will to the court. These interested parties may include heirs, creditors to the decedent, or a temporary executor with an appointment by the court.
These parties must also be sure to select the correct branch of the Probate court. According to O.C.G.A. § 53-5-1, only the Probate court located in the county where you resided upon your death has the authority to rule in these cases. When opening an Estate in Marietta, it can be beneficial to speak to our team about which Probate court is correct.
Probate consists of three main stages. The first concerns the authentication of the Will. By law, only the most recent Will carries any legal effect. However, parties may argue over whether a Will is genuine or whether you were wrongfully influenced. Any interested party in Marietta may raise these issues after opening an Estate in Probate.
Once the court authenticates your Will, it will appoint an executor of the Estate. This is usually the person named in the Will who submitted the document to the court. Presuming that the court accepts this party, the court will issue letters testamentary to the executor.
Finally, the executor must act to fulfill your wishes present in the Will. This includes paying debts, gathering property, and distributing assets to the named heirs.
The Probate process is necessary for the proper administration of your Estate. Not only will it enable a court to authenticate your Will, but it will also empower executors to serve in their roles and heirs to receive the property to which they are entitled.
Contact Nelson Elder Care Law today if you have more questions about opening an Estate in Probate in Marietta. Our team can explain the Probate process in detail, determine whether you have the authority to submit a Will to the court, and help you to understand what to expect moving forward.
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