The Forsyth County Probate Court address is:
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Probate Court is located on the lower level of the Courthouse Annex, accessible via the rear entrance to the building.
The Forsyth County Probate Court phone number is: (770) 781-2140
What Probate Forms Do I Need to Bring?
Forsyth County Probate Court Process: The Four Basic Steps to Probate
File Petition – Notify Heirs and Beneficiaries
The probate process begins with the filing of the petition with the Forsyth County probate court.
This petition will either:
Submit the will to the Forsyth County Probate Courts and appoint the executor, or…
But what if there is no will?
It’s up to the courts to appoint an administrator.
A notice of the court hearing regarding the petition must be provided to all the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries.
If an heir or beneficiary objects to the petition, they can do so during the Forsyth County Probate Court hearing.
A notice of the hearing for the probate court is published in a local Forsyth County newspaper.
This is usually done to notify the decedent’s potential creditors that the court proceedings are occurring.
Personal Representative Must Notify Creditors
After the Forsyth County court appointment, the law requires that the representative of the estate must notify creditors.
This notification must be a written notice mailed to all creditors of the estate.
Any creditor that wishes to make a claim on the estate has 90 days to do so.
In order to give all creditors time to submit claims to the estate, Georgia probate law requires that an estate is held open for at least three months after the legal notice to the creditors is posted.
After the hearing, the decedent’s property, stocks, bonds, business interests, and other assets are inventoried to determine the value of the assets.
Sometimes, third-party appraisals are performed to appraise non-cash assets.
Estate Expenses Are Paid Out
Not all creditor claims are legitimate.
The representative of the estate must determine which claims are and pay them from the estate.
If needed, the representative may have to sell a property to satisfy the creditor bills.
Title is Transferred
After all the creditors have been paid from the estate it’s time to transfer title of the property.
The Forsyth County probate courts will be petitioned for authority to transfer the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
Once the petition is granted, a new deed will be drawn up by the personal representative and the assets and property will be transferred to the appropriate recipients.
How Long Does Forsyth County Probate Court Take?
Probating a will should take less than a year.
In complicated cases, it can take even longer.
Some factors that can make for a longer probate process may include the following:
- Will contests challenging the validity of the will and/or certain bequests
- “Complicated” assets such as business interests, which are trickier to distribute to heirs, as opposed to straight forward ones like bank accounts
- Taxable estate, mostly because an additional governmental entity (Internal Revenue Service) will be involved
Some states do have simplified procedures for smaller estates, which can shorten the length of the probate process considerably.
Avoiding Forsyth County Probate Court
But what about avoiding probate? Is it possible?
In the interest of having a fast and inexpensive probate process as possible, it may be desirable to skip it altogether.
The good news for those wondering how to avoid probate is that there are several ways.
- Joint ownership of property (property passes directly to another owner), or…
- Designating intended beneficiaries directly on life insurance, retirement, bank (“pay-on-death” or POD), and investment (“transfer-on-death” or TOD) accounts.
Creating a living trust is another option.
The grantor (person writing the trust) funds it by putting in assets of his or her choice.
The grantor retains control over the trust’s property until death or incapacitation.
At that point, the trust is turned over to the successor trustee (previously chosen by the grantor) to distribute trust property according to the grantor’s wishes.
All of this happens outside the probate process.
Georgia Probate Court Forms
Here is a list of all of the Forsyth County probate court forms.
Consult with your attorney and find out which ones you need to print off.
Your attorney will tailor the forms you need for your situation.
Selling Deceased Real Estate Property in Forsyth County
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