Probate Law

Probate in Georgia is the process by which legal title of property is transferred from the decedent’s estate to his or her beneficiaries.

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Probate Law

Planning early can spare those most important to you the pain of conflict and dispute…

The purpose of a probate proceeding is to settle every possible claim so that title to the assets of the estate passes to the rightful beneficiaries free and clear of adverse claims. The deceased person’s assets are administered to ensure that all creditors are paid, all rights of the beneficiaries and heirs are protected, and the estate assets are properly and fairly distributed. Whether a person dies with only a will, or no will at all, a probate will likely be necessary if the decedent owned assets over a certain amount, or if they owned assets only in their own name.

We counsel and advise our clients who have been named as the executor or administrator of an estate in Georgia through every step of the probate process. Our services include:

  • Providing the proper tools to accurately account for all of the expenses of probate.
  • Assisting in the completion of an accurate inventory of all of the assets of the estate.
  • Helping to locate all possible benefits, including insurance policies and pension benefits.
  • Assisting with property valuations, for certain types of assets.
  • Completing state and federal estate tax returns, if necessary.
  • Ensuring that all debts, estate taxes, and gift taxes are paid.
  • Supervising the distribution of the estate in accordance with the terms of the will or state law.

 

We typically begin working with our clients at the beginning of the probate process; however, it is possible to retain us to assist if unanticipated problems arise during administration.

Choosing your Georgia probate or trust lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make. Attorney Karen Brown-Williams is a knowledgeable and caring probate/administration lawyer who is committed to helping her clients maximize the amount that can be gathered into the estate, and minimize the amount that will go to taxes. Our staff is thorough and meticulous, ensuring that no details are overlooked before an estate is closed.

If you’re responsible for the administration of a decedent’s estate anywhere in the Atlanta metropolitan area or if you need advice about your rights as a surviving spouse, statutory heir or beneficiary, contact Attorney Karen Brown-Williams today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a divorce in Georgia?

You can finalize a divorce as little as 31 days after service. Georgia does not require a waiting period for divorce.

Am I entitled to alimony?

Alimony is based on one party's financial needs and the other party's ability to pay, as well as conduct issues. Realistically speaking, alimony these days is intended to be rehabilitative in nature, to provide the requesting spouse with an opportunity to become gainfully employed and/or to increase his or her earning potential. Some judges are more likely to award spousal support than others, so it helps if your attorney is familiar with your assigned judge.

How are our assets divided?

Georgia is an equitable division property state. Equitable division means whatever is fair and reasonable under the circumstances; it does not necessarily mean an equal division of "marital" assets between spouses, although more often than not, most assets are divided somewhere in the range of 50/50. There are numerous factors the court will consider to determine what is fair and reasonable under the circumstances

Does every case have to go to trial?

No. The vast majority of cases, including family law matters, are resolved without a trial, through agreement of the spouses, negotiations by their attorneys, or mediation. If the spouses cannot agree, even after being prodded to do so by attorneys, mediators, and the court, a trial is necessary.

What is family court?

It is a court devoted to handling only family law cases.

What is child custody?

Custody is a legal determination of how the parties care and make decisions for minor children. There are two types of custody: Legal and Physical. Legal custody determines which parent(s) will participate in making major decisions affecting the children, such as decisions about the children’s education, healthcare and well-being. Physical custody involves who will care for the children on a day-to-day basis.

What factors can be used to decide custody?

Ideally, the parties to a divorce are able to reach a mutually agreeable out of court marital settlement agreement that includes custody and visitation with any minor children of the marriage. When it becomes clear an agreement is not forthcoming, a court will have to decide using a “best interest of the child” standard.

How is child support calculated?

Child support is calculated based upon guidelines that are established by the state. Generally, child support guidelines take into account the incomes of the parties, the number of days each party has the child, and other expenses related to the child, such as health care and daycare costs. Although each state has set guidelines, the Court may deviate from the guidelines at its discretion.

What is alimony?

Alimony is generally a support payment by one spouse to the other spouse. Alimony is generally not available to a spouse who caused the dissolution of the marriage by adultery or desertion. Alimony may be paid in a one-time lump sum, periodic payments for a limited time or until the receiving spouse dies or remarries. Alimony is awarded to either spouse in accordance with the needs of the spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay

What is “Joint Legal Custody”?

Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make decisions affecting the children such as education, medical, religious, extra-curricular and so on.

Atlanta/Marietta:

1820 The Exchange SE
Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30339
Tel: 770-952-5000
Fax: 770-955-6173

Alpharetta:

12600 Deerfield Parkway
Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Tel: 678-566-3626
Fax: 770-955-6173

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