Atlanta, GA Probate Lawyer
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If you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have recently lost a loved one, know that the Atlanta probate lawyers and staff at Fouts Law Group are here for you. Please accept our sincerest condolences, as we know how difficult such a profound loss can be. You are likely dealing with many emotions and have several aspects of your loved one’s life to sort out, especially if your deceased family member didn’t prepare an estate plan before their passing. Unfortunately, if this is the case, all of their assets, including any real estate they owned, their vehicles, and their bank accounts, may need to go through a formal legal process known as probate. Until probate is completed, yourself and the other rightful beneficiaries won’t be able to assume possession of your loved one’s property.
Georgia probate can be extremely complex and time-consuming, and making mistakes can lead to additional expenses or even lawsuits. When you’re grieving, navigating all of the paperwork associated with probate is the last thing you want to be doing, which is where enlisting the assistance of our compassionate probate attorney comes in. No matter how “messy” your deceased loved one’s estate is, our firm can work with you to help you understand your next steps and your legal responsibilities. We know the road ahead, will walk with you every step of the way to the quickest, most efficient resolution possible.
The Georgia Probate Process
Our experienced Atlanta probate lawyer can help you at every stage of probate and even handle most or all of your duties for you so you can focus on moving forward! Usually, probate in Georgia involves taking the following actions:
- File the will with the probate court. After your loved ones death, find their will and file it with the probate court in their county of residence.
- Petition the court to start the probate process. The family or executor of the will is required to file a petition and pay the applicable court fees to start the probate process. Depending on the circumstances of the will, the executor or their attorney will need to file various forms. If one has not already been appointed before the decedent died, the court will appoint a personal representative to deal with their assets and debts.
- File a formal notice to creditors and beneficiaries.
- Collect all of the estate’s assets. After the will is filed, the personal representative collects all the property in the estate and then files a report about it with the probate court.
- Pay the deceased’s debts. The personal representative then pays all of the deceased’s outstanding debts out of the estate —for example, financial obligations to creditors or outstanding federal or state taxes.
- File final tax returns and pay outstanding taxes on the estate, if applicable.
- Distribute the remaining assets. After all the deceased debts are paid from their estate, the personal representative will give any remaining assets to those named in the will. The personal representative must:
- Provide evidence that the correct beneficiaries received the assets.
- File a final report with the court to close the estate.
How An Atlanta Probate Attorney Can Help
Whether you anticipated the death of your loved one or it came as a complete shock, it can be difficult to grieve while trying to deal with probate and fulfill everything required of you. Working with our knowledgeable Atlanta probate attorney who can explain all of your options, complete legal tasks on your behalf, and prevent costly mistakes helps the process go smoother and potentially be over sooner. Legal representation makes the probate process less stressful, less expensive, and more effective! Attorney Jeff Fouts will:
- Provide compassionate and personalized legal guidance
- Explain your legal options in terms you can easily understand
- Answer your questions promptly
- Identify if your loved one’s estate will need to go through the probate process at all or if the entire thing can be avoided
- File the will with the proper probate court on your behalf
- File a petition for probate on your behalf
- Obtain sworn statements from the will’s witnesses if necessary and file them with the court on your behalf
- Provide written notice to the will’s creditors and beneficiaries
- Take inventory and appraise your deceased loved one’s assets
- File an estate tax return and pay taxes if necessary
- Negotiate and settle debts with creditors and pay them
- Draft a final accounting
- Distribute assets to appropriate heirs and beneficiaries
- And more!
Who We Work With
Our firm can represent both estate executors/personal representatives who are in charge of overseeing the probate process and beneficiaries who stand to inherit. We can defend against creditor claims and resolve family conflict. If you are an heir who believes that the will isn’t accurate, or suspects that the estate executor isn’t acting honestly, we can stand up for your rights.
Contact Fouts Law Group Today For Probate Assistance
Atlanta estate planning Attorney Jeff Fouts has been guiding grieving families through probate for nearly three decades. Our experienced firm is comitted to helping you honor your loved one’s last wishes. We can give you peace of mind! Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we can do to serve you during this difficult time.
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Atlanta, GA Practice Areas
Why Choose Us?
30 Years Of Experience In Estate Law
Work With An Attorney & Published Author