What is Probate?

In Georgia, "probate" generally has three meanings:

  • Probate Court - this is the Court that handles matters like estates, marriage licenses, gun licenses, and a few other things. Each county in Georgia has a Probate Court, usually in or near the county's courthouse.

  • Probating a Will - technically, probate is the process of "proving" a person's Last Will and Testament. This is basically the Probate Court taking a look at a Will and saying, "yep, that's valid" and appointing a person as Executor (a.k.a. Personal Representative) to do what the Will says.

  • Probating an estate - sometimes, people use the word probate to mean the process of administering an estate, whether or not there is a Will. Administering an estate is generally collecting an estate's assets, paying an estate's debts, and then disbursing whatever assets (if anything) are left over.

The statements in this blog are generalities, and exceptions exist. And, as always, this post is not legal advice. If you have any questions about this information or about what to do when a loved one passes, please contact us.