Estates

What to do when a loved one dies:

If your loved one dies with a will, you must file the will in the Probate Court in the county where the deceased was domiciled at the time of death. If your loved one was not domiciled in Georgia at the time of his death, you may file the deceased’s will in any Georgia County where he owned property.

Upon the death of the deceased, you are required by law to file the deceased’s will with the Probate Court; however, you are not required to probate a will. If an estate has no assets, there may be no need to probate a will. Wills that are filed not for probate are scanned and stamp-filed to be made a part of the official record. There is no fee for filing the will not for probate.

If your loved one died without a will, you may file to administer his/her estate in the Probate Court of the County where he/she was domiciled at the time of death. If your loved one was not domiciled in Georgia at the time of death, you may file to be appointed as the administrator of the estate in any Georgia County where the deceased owned property.

http://gaprobate.gov/content/what-do-when-loved-one-dies?menu=main

Determining Heirs:

Heirs and beneficiaries may not be the same people. Heirs are determined by law at the time of your death and are the persons who would inherit from your estate if you died without a will. Beneficiaries are named in a will to receive your property.

Determination of Heirs worksheet 

Filing will for safekeeping:

You have the option to file your will for safekeeping in the Probate Court. Wills that are filed for safe-keeping will require a $15.00 storage fee. In addition, the testator must complete an information sheet and the will is then placed in a sealed envelope and filed in a fire-proof cabinet. The will shall remain confidential, and no person other than the person depositing the same, his legal representative, or his attorney shall have access to the file prior to the death of the testator.

Probate Forms:

The Council of Probate Judges has created standard forms for use in every Georgia Probate Court. The forms are updated annually and may be located at http://www.gaprobate.gov.        

Filing Fees:

Prior to mailing in or filing your petition in our office, please contact an Estate clerk at (770) 784-2045 for the current filing fees. All fees are due at the time of filing. The Probate Court accepts cash, credit cards (Visa or MasterCard), or money orders.

If you cannot afford to pay filing fees, you may petition to proceed in forma pauperis by completing a pauper’s affidavit.  Your petition may be granted initially but the fees may be required after an estate is opened and money is available to the Personal Representative.

Probate Court Pauper's Affidavit