We know this may be a difficult time for you. Your family member has passed away, and we are sorry for your loss. Now you need assistance navigating the legal process. The lawyers at Arkin.Law in Atlanta, GA are here to help you.
Your family member had assets and liabilities. Examples of typical assets are a house, car, 401(k), IRA and stocks and bonds. Liabilities include mortgages, car notes, credit card debt and other financial obligations. These assets and liabilities are referred to as the “estate.” Each estate is different and heavily influenced by several factors, including the nature, type, and size of the estate’s assets and liabilities, family dynamics, and Georgia state law.
Probate is the official way that an estate gets settled, usually under the supervision of the probate court. If there is no will, a person, often a surviving spouse or an adult child, is appointed by the court. If there is a will, the court after accepting its authenticity, usually appoints the person nominated in the will to settle the estate. In either situation, this person who is called an Executor or Administrator, depending upon whether your family member died with a will, has the legal authority to gather and value the estate's assets, pay bills and taxes, and ultimately, distribute the assets to the estate's beneficiaries or heirs. In some cases, your family member may have set up a revocable trust in addition to a will that may expedite or avoid the probate process altogether.
We help our clients address a full range of Georgia testate, intestate and trust matters, including: