Probate – What Is It and Why Do I Need It?




Loosely, probate just means “to prove.” In a specific sense, Probate is the legal process that
deals with the proving of a Last Will and Testament and the administration of a deceased person’s
estate. The purpose of probate is to ensure that the decedent’s assets are distributed according to their
wishes and that any outstanding debts are paid off. Probate Courts, in Georgia, are the courts with
jurisdiction over these matters.

When someone passes away, their assets and debts become part of their estate. The probate process
begins when a will is filed with the court or, if there is no will, an administrator is appointed to manage
the estate. The Probate court then oversees the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries, creditors,
and other interested parties.

A petition in Probate court can be necessary for several reasons. First, it ensures that the assets of the deceased are distributed according to their wishes, as outlined in their will. If there is no
will, the court will follow state laws to determine how the assets are distributed. Probate also helps
resolve any disputes that may arise between family members, creditors, and other interested parties.

Additionally, probate is necessary to transfer ownership of assets that are titled in the decedent’s name
of the deceased. For example, if the deceased person dent owned a house or a car, the title must be
transferred to the new owner through the probate process.

In some cases, probate may not be necessary. If the decedent’s assets were all held jointly with another
person, those assets will pass directly to the joint owner outside of probate. Similarly, if the decedent
had a trust set up, the assets held in the trust will pass to the beneficiaries without going through

While probate can be a lengthy and expensive process, it is necessary in many cases to ensure that the
decedent’s assets are distributed fairly and legally and in line with the wishes you spell out in your Last
Will and Testament. If you are named as an executor in a will, upon their death, you
may need to go through probate for a loved one’s estate. It is important to consult with an attorney
who can guide you through the process and help ensure that everything is done correctly.

If you have questions about probate or need assistance with the process, it is important to consult with
an experienced attorney.

You can learn more about probate and how the team at Edge & Kimbell can help by visiting our FAQ
Page and following us on social media!


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