Estate Administration & Probate Lawyers in Atlanta
Providing Guidance Through the Legal Process
Are you currently facing probate or have been named the administrator of an estate by the court? These processes can be lengthy and complex, especially if you attempt to get through it without legal help. At Geerdes & Associates, LLC, our Atlanta probate and estate administration lawyers can provide you with personalized legal guidance.
Contact us at (770) 599-5331 to schedule a free consultation.
Estate Administration vs. Probate
Estate administration involves the settlement or management of an estate, including distributing property to heirs and paying any debts. Though administration can take place with or without a will or trust in place, if a person dies unexpectedly or passes away and does not have an estate plan in place, the court will typically appoint an administrator. This administrator will be responsible for handling the distribution of the estate and any other related duties.
Meanwhile, probate is the formal legal process of settling an estate through the court, particularly when there are disputes, large amounts of property or money, or a lack of an estate plan. The named executor or trustee is the responsible for handling the estate according to the instructions in the will or trust.
Although these two situations are different, the duties of an administrator and executor are almost the same. Depending on the exact situation, the entire process can take between 9 and 18 months. In some cases, it can take even longer if there are any problems during the process, such as a contest.
An administrator is responsible for these particular duties:
- Notifying all beneficiaries of the death
- Notifying all creditors of the death
- Gathering all assets and property of the estate
- Handling all debts which are owed
- Paying all the administration expenses
- Liquidating or selling assets
- Filing tax returns
- Distributing property as instructed
- Filing the final paperwork with the court
Representation through the Complex Probate Process
The probate courts are in place to help families make sure that a person's estate is handled properly after they have passed. If a will is not in place or if a problem arises during the probate process, it can lead to questions being presented by the heirs or family. In the case that you believe something isn't right with the will or someone else is contesting a will you are administering, we can represent you.
A few complications that can arise include:
- Will contests
- Invalid wills
- Unequal distribution of assets
- Complications and contests involving heirs
Would you like to retain legal counsel from a caring Atlanta estate planning attorney? Contact our firm at (770) 599-5331.