How Long Will My Probate Case Take?
If you are the executor of an estate or an heir, you might be wondering how long a typical probate case lasts. Most people would like to avoid dragging out the process any longer than necessary. But most of the time, it will take at least several months for the probate judge to give final approval and for the executor to finish distributing the testator’s assets to the appropriate heirs.
For an executor (also known as an estate administrator), one of the best ways to speed up the process is to hire an experienced and committed probate attorney. For more than 50 years, William G. Witcher of The Witcher Law Firm has handled probate and estate administration matters in Decatur and throughout DeKalb County. His deep knowledge of the law and insight into how local probate judges work will help you avoid errors and unnecessary delays.
Can I Avoid Probating The Estate?
If the estate is worth less than $10,000 and the deceased died without a will (intestate), Georgia law allows an expedited process. Instead of going through the usual probate process, surviving relatives or heirs can file a duly sworn document called a small estate affidavit to a bank or financial institution.
The Probate Process In Georgia
With a regular estate, the executor’s first job is to gain control of the deceased’s assets. The challenge is proving to the bank that you are the executor. Banks often make this difficult; proving your right to take control can take at least two months. Once that is done, William Witcher will help you set up an executor account and transfer the deceased’s assets into it.
Though most executors are motivated to do their jobs efficiently, there are virtually no deadlines in the law or imposed by the judge. The only exception is for the deceased’s house if they owned one. The executor should get the house secured and sold as quickly as possible. Large creditors like banks and credit card companies are used to delays in getting repaid. As long as they receive a letter from the executor’s attorney assuring them that things are in motion, they will be patient.
Making Probate Faster And Easier
The process is time-consuming, which makes the help of an attorney invaluable for a busy person serving as an executor. To find out more, speak with William Witcher during your free consultation. Call The Witcher Law Firm at 470-868-6325 to reach the firm’s Decatur office.