Probate Court Appeals Attorney in Athens, Georgia
Prior, Daniel, & Wiltshire understands how stressful and upsetting it is when you lose a close family member and it’s our mission to help you navigate the legal issues that surround a person’s death, taking the pressure off you so you can focus on healing and being there for your family and loved ones.
Probate Court Appeal Attorney, Athens GA
We have more than two decades of probate litigation experience, helping clients in the Athens, Georgia region to solve disputes and probate matters. Emotions can run high when it comes to probate issues because typically the disagreement is between relatives.
You need an experienced and professional attorney who knows the law well and understands how best to safeguard assets, protect the estate, and most importantly, honor your loved one’s final wishes.
The term probate is basically another way of explaining the legal process that takes place after a person has died. Probate court exists to deal with the property and debts of a person who has passed away. The basic role of the probate court judge is to assure that the deceased person's wishes are carried out, creditors are paid, and that any remaining assets are distributed to the proper beneficiaries.
What is probate court used for?
When family members can’t agree on how to carry out their deceased loved one’s wishes, or how to distribute the remaining assets to beneficiaries, then probate court offers a third-party, un-biased legal opinion on the matter.
In Georgia, probate court is used for various reasons, including but not limited to, determining whether the decedent (the person who has died) had a valid or legal will, appointing a person to gather any assets (called an executor if there is a valid will and an administrator if there is not), paying any outstanding debts the decedent may have, and distributing any assets to various beneficiaries.
Depending on whether the decedent has a valid will, the process can vary. If the decedent died with a will, the executor will follow what's laid out in it. If a person died without a will, then the court will basically make one for them and divide the property among the heirs based on Georgia probate laws.
Typically, in Georgia, close relatives, such as a spouse, parent, or child are the beneficiaries of the decedent’s property. A surviving spouse is often entitled to the entire estate, but if no spouse survives, that right is often given to the parents or children.
Unless family members or creditors are disputing, there's very little court supervision in the probate process. It’s mostly paperwork.