Probate is often a standard process to administer an individual’s estate based on the wishes usually documented in a will. It can include various details concerning the deceased’s estate and family. Since it can address different issues, the surviving family can use it to guide how to proceed, minimizing the risks of disputes among beneficiaries.
However, a will does not necessarily need to undergo the probate process every time. This requirement can depend on the deceased’s circumstances and whether their assets in the estate necessitate the process. A will can be ineligible for probate in Georgia if the situation meets the following conditions:
- The deceased did not have any assets to their name.
- The deceased’s bank accounts, policies and retirement benefits named specific people as beneficiaries.
- The assets are under a trust established by the deceased before death.
- All other belongings left by the deceased are non-probate.
Despite meeting these circumstances, a will is still an enforceable document. Someone must file it on behalf of the deceased, even if probate is unnecessary.
Knowing what to do with a will
Sometimes, the deceased has a comprehensive estate plan and will, indicating what they want to happen to their estate after death. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. When an unexpected death occurs, the surviving family is often clueless about what to do next, even if there is a will.
The process of figuring out the next appropriate steps can be overwhelming, especially for loved ones who are still grieving the loss. To avoid this situation, it is best to think ahead and seek legal counsel regarding what estate planning tools to use. Doing so could appropriately set the deceased’s wishes, preventing conflicts and addressing loose ends.