A guide to Georgia probate laws.
Anyone age 14 or older can write a will in Georgia, but mentally incompetent individuals may only make a will during “lucid intervals.”
Georgia requires at least two “competent” witnesses to sign the will. The witnesses must be at least 14 years old.
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Yes, but unless there are two other disinterested witnesses the testamentary gift to the interested witness may be void.
Felons are not explicitly barred from serving as an executor, but the court may request a background check on anyone you nominate
Georgia does not explicitly forbid handwritten wills (called “holographic wills” when not signed by witnesses). Handwritten wills are only valid when they are properly witnessed.
No, Georgia is not a community property state.
In a community property state, each spouse has an equal share of property acquired during the marriage. Property acquired before the marriage is considered separate property.
In Georgia, when there is no will, the court will determine who receives the intestate estate, usually based on intestate succession.
This is how much a surviving spouse receives in a few different circumstances:
|If the decedent is survived by a spouse and:||Surviving spouse's share|
|Children||Estate is split evenly with children, but spouse is entitled to at least 1/3|
Otherwise, when there is no surviving spouse, then the intestate estate will pass along in the following order.
Siblings of the decedent, or their children
Aunts and uncles of the decedent, or their children
For someone to receive the estate, there must not be anyone left in the category above them. If an inheritor is dead, then their share typically passes to their children by a per stirpes designation.
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After the testator’s death, the executor has five years to file for probate after petitioning for letters of administration.
Where to file: Probate court in the county of the decedent’s permanent residence
Only intestate estates may skip formal administration when all heirs agree to the distribution of property by filing a petition.
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