Understanding the role of a probate judge in Georgia

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Probate, Wills

Very few people take time to think about estate and wealth distribution until they’ve lost a loved one. However, understanding how these segments work beforehand is very important. One of the legal aspects you should understand is the operations of probate court.

Who is a probate judge?

A probate judge oversees the estate settlement and wills and probate process. The probate judge renders the final verdict on the deceased’s estate and oversees the entire probate procedure. They can hear matters on any estate, both contested and uncontested.

In uncontested wills, the case might not end up in probate court. Their involvement is minimal if it goes through the probate judges’ hands.

Duties of A probate judge

After appointing an executor, the probate judge must validate and approve the administration. Executors must inform the Creditors about the decedent’s demise and give them time to claim the money owed. The personal representative or executor then determines the validity of the claims if they are paying from the estate funds.

If the representative or executor is not okay with the claims, they’ll move the matter to court. This might result in litigation that requires the intervention of a probate judge. The representative or executor must allocate the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

However, the executor will have to settle the creditor’s claims approved by the court. Allocation of assets must follow the decedent’s will. In the absence of a will, the property goes to heirs-at-law. The probate judge will close both scenarios with a signature.

There’s at least one probate court per county in the United States. However, rural counties with modest populations might divert their probate cases to a larger county court nearby. They can also move them to a state capital.