Kennesaw, GA Probate Lawyer
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If you’re grieving the loss of a family member, let us first say how very sorry we are for your loss. We understand how difficult death can be, especially when you have to deal with the court system and various legalities in the midst of mourning. If it turns out that your loved one’s estate has to go through probate, our compassionate and experienced Kennesaw probate lawyer can guide you through the process. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your next steps.
What Is Probate?
Most people have never heard of the word “probate” until they experience a death in their family. Probate is a Georgia court process that officially transfers a deceased person’s assets and possessions to their beneficiaries. Even if your loved one had a will, their estate (everything they owned) may still have to go through probate.
Steps Of Probate
A will makes probate much more straightforward; the first step of probate is normally to submit the will to the court and file a petition to open probate. You or another family member will be appointed by the court as the “estate executor” (or as the “personal representative” if your deceased loved one didn’t leave a will behind). This means that you are in charge of carrying out the probate process’s remaining steps, which typically include:
- Formally notify the public, creditors, and heirs
- Gather and inventory assets
- Have assets appraised
- Arrange for the care/upkeep of the assets until probate is complete
- Settle outstanding debts with creditors/address and resolve any creditor claims
- File tax returns and pay any taxes owed
- Distribute remaining assets to beneficiaries
- Communicate with the court
- Close the estate
- And more.
Our Kennesaw probate lawyer can explain what your legal responsibilities are as the estate executor/personal representative and take care of everything for you so you can focus on moving forward.
Drawbacks Of Probate
Probate is notoriously expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. There are many court fees associated with the process, as well as the costs of appraisals, etc. If you miss deadlines or make mistakes, you could incur fines. The total costs of probate could add up to thousands of dollars, which will deplete the inheritance your loved one planned to leave to you and other beneficiaries. In Georgia, the process can take anywhere from six months to several years or longer, depending on how complex the estate is, how many beneficiaries are involved, etc. There’s a ton of paperwork that you have to complete. If you are the estate executor/personal representative, you could be sued by creditors or by disgruntled family members who may disagree with your actions; this could lead to lawsuits that drag out the process and put an additional burden on your plate.
Why Work With A Kennesaw Probate Lawyer?
No one wants to have to handle a legal process like this when they are trying to plan a funeral, grieve and come to terms with a loss, and move forward. Because of the potential for liability for executors, and because heirs need to make sure they are being treated fairly, it’s in the best interests of anyone involved in probate to work with a local attorney who is experienced in these matters and who can give reliable legal advice.
At Fouts Law Group, Attorney Jeff Fouts, our lead Kennesaw probate lawyer, has over 30 years of experience. He has been helping grieving families successfully and efficiently resolve probate for decades; he is familiar with Georgia’s laws, and can take the burden off your plate. No matter how “messy” or complex your situation feels, you can trust him to get the best outcome.
Call Fouts Law Group For A Free Consultation
Don’t go through probate alone. We’re here for you! Call today to speak with our attorney during a free consultation and learn more about how we can serve you.
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Kennesaw, GA Practice Areas
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30 Years Of Experience In Estate Law
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