Flowery Branch, GA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia

Q: Is Probate or any other process (legal or otherwise) needed when there's a notarized Last Will and no real property?

My mother passed away Thursday. She has a Last Will created and notarized in 2008, listing my brother and I as inheritors (both 18+). She lived in an assisted living facility in GA, owned personal property but no real property, and received regular deposits from SSA-Disability and State Teachers Retirement, no IRA, 401k or other retirement accts. The funeral home is reporting her death to Social Security and filing the death certificate with the county. Are there any legal steps we need to take? I had to manage probate for my dad in 2008, but the situation was different.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: You are required to file the original will with the probate court, but not for probate. Whether you need to offer it for probate depends on the amount int eh bank account. If there is less than $10,000 in your mother's bank account, the bank should divide the money between you and your brother. If more than $10,000, you will need to open an estate to get the money out of the account. As you do not mention any other assets that have a title and no beneficiary designation, it sounds like you will not need to offer the will for probate.

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