When someone has their will taken care of at the time of their death in Georgia, it’s called testate. In this case, the property goes straight to any beneficiary that the decedent has designated in their will usually without difficulty.
What happens when someone passes away without a will?
Things get more unruly with an intestate decedent’s estate: when the will wasn’t in place when the person passed away. If that’s the situation, the distribution of property is governed by the intestate succession laws of the decedent’s home state. In accordance with these rules, some relatives may be allowed to receive their inheritance while others won’t.
In either case, it’s a probate court that will determine and handle the process of administering and probating the estate. Probate and estate administration are both crucial components of documenting and distributing someone’s estate after they’ve died.
A timeline for probate and estate administration
It’s difficult or impossible to provide a cut-and-dry answer to the question of how long probate and estate administration takes as it depends on myriad factors. At its simplest and most efficient, summary probate proceedings may be completed in four months. But in most states, you should usually plan for one or two years of probate and estate administration after the decedent’s passing.
This is assuming there aren’t any lawsuits or contested issues thrown into the mix. In those cases, the process will likely be all the more drawn out. It mainly depends on how big the estate is and the amount that you’re able to transfer without using probate.
Estate administration officially starts as soon as the executor presents the decedent’s will to be probated. This process may also commence when a party that’s interested makes a petition for their appointment as administrator of an intestate decedent’s estate.