Probate FAQ

Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone passes away. It involves validating and executing the last will and testament of the deceased, or if there is no will, distributing their assets and settling their debts according to the applicable laws and regulations. Probate law can vary widely from state to state: the following information applies to probate law in georgia.

Probate Law in Georgia

What's the difference between a petition for Year's Support and probate?

In Georgia, Year’s Support is a legal provision that allows a surviving spouse or minor children to claim a certain amount of the deceased person’s estate for their support and maintenance. This provision is designed to protect the surviving family members from being left without sufficient means of support.

Probate, on the other hand, is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. It involves validating the deceased person’s will (if one exists), paying off debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries or heirs. The probate process in Georgia is typically overseen by the probate court in the county where the deceased person resided at the time of their death.

How do I file for Year's Support in Georgia?

To initiate the process of claiming Year’s Support, the surviving spouse or a legal representative must file a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased person resided. The petition should include details about the deceased person’s estate, the surviving family members, and the amount of support being requested.

If you need assistance with the specific details or steps involved in filing a petition for Year’s Support or probating a will in Georgia, consult with an attorney who specializes in estate law or probate matters. We will be able to provide you with personalized guidance based on your specific situation.

What is a Guardian ad Litem and what do they do?

In Georgia, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a person appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child or an incapacitated adult in legal proceedings. The term “ad litem” is a Latin phrase meaning “for the lawsuit” or “for the case.” The primary responsibility of a Guardian ad Litem is to advocate for and protect the rights and welfare of the individual they represent. The appointment of GAL also aims to ensure that the court receives unbiased information about the individual’s best interests, particularly when there may be disputes or concerns regarding their well-being.

The role of a Guardian ad Litem typically arises in cases involving child custody, divorce, or matters where the well-being of a child or incapacitated adult is at stake. The court appoints a GAL to conduct an independent investigation, gather relevant information, and make recommendations to the court regarding custody, visitation, or other issues that affect the individual’s best interests.

The Guardian ad Litem’s duties may include conducting interviews with the child or incapacitated adult, speaking with parents, family members, teachers, and other individuals involved in the person’s life. They may also review records, such as medical or educational documents, and observe interactions between the parties involved. Based on their findings, the Guardian ad Litem prepares a report and presents it to the court, outlining their recommendations regarding custody, visitation, or other relevant matters.

It’s important to note that the specific duties and responsibilities of a Guardian ad Litem can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the case. In Georgia, individuals appointed as GALs are typically attorneys, social workers, or other professionals with experience in child welfare or family law.

What is the difference between guardianship and conservatorship in Georgia?

In Georgia, as in many other jurisdictions, the terms “conservatorship” and “guardianship” are often used interchangeably. However, it’s important to note that the specific terminology and legal processes can vary from state to state.

In Georgia, guardianship refers to the legal arrangement typically established for individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions regarding their personal care and/or financial affairs. This could include individuals with disabilities, minors, or incapacitated adults. The purpose of guardianship is to provide a responsible person (the guardian) with the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person (the ward) in order to protect their best interests.

Conservatorship, on the other hand, is more commonly associated with the management of financial affairs. In some states, including Georgia, conservatorship is used interchangeably with guardianship, and it refers to the legal authority given to a person (the conservator) to manage the financial affairs of another individual (the protected person).

To determine whether you need guardianship or conservatorship in Georgia, consult with an attorney who specializes in elder law or estate planning. We are able to assess your specific circumstances and guide you through the legal process, ensuring that you choose the appropriate legal arrangement for the situation at hand. Laws and requirements may change over time, so it’s essential to consult with a legal professional who has up-to-date knowledge of Georgia’s laws.

Connect with a Probate Attorney at The Carr Law Group

Navigating legal affairs in the midst of a loved one’s passing can be emotional and complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Carr Law Group is a family-owned firm serving clients in and around Clarkesville, Gainesville, and Cleveland, Georgia. Our probate team, led by attorney-at-law Spencer Carr, can help determine the validity of a will, resolve the final expenses of the deceased, and distribute their assets according to the will and/or local regulations. Schedule a consultation today.