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In Georgia, you can make a living trust to avoid probate for virtually any asset you ownreal estate, bank accounts, vehicles, and so on. You need to create a trust document (its similar to a will), naming someone to take over as trustee after your death (called a successor trustee).
Penalties for Failing to File a Will If the executor or person in possession of the will does not file it with the local probate court, the probate court may attach for contempt and may fine and imprison a person withholding a will until the will is delivered. (Georgia Code 53-5-5).
Is Probate Required in Georgia? Probate isnt always required in Georgia. It is necessary by law if the assets belonged solely to the deceased person with no named beneficiary or with the estate as the named beneficiary. If the assets were included in a revocable living trust, probate wont be necessary.
Under Georgia law, there is no time limit on settling an estate. After your loved one passes away, there is no set number of days or months to open an estate.
Common Probate Fees in Georgia An uncontested probate could range from $1500 - $3000. If anyone contests the process, the cost could range from $3000 to more than $10,000. Fees to consider include: Attorney fees (if you use a probate attorney)
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Even if probate seems unnecessary, the will must still be filed. There are many items which must go through the probate process: real estate, bank accounts with no beneficiary designation, stocks and bonds, and tangible assets (ex: jewelry, art, furniture, vehicles).
If the probate documents are not filed, the heirs may sue for the items or assets they are set to collect. If someone knowingly fails to file a will for their own financial gain, he or she could face criminal charges for intent to conceal the will.
In order to probate the will, the executor should file the original signed will and, in most cases, Georgia Probate Court Standard Form 5 (Petition to Probate Will in Solemn Form). The standard forms are available at the courthouse or online at the official statewide Supreme Court website.
If you do have a will, the probate court determines whether the will is valid and appoints an executor. If no will exists, the court appoints an administrator. The court also ensures that the estate pays any outstanding debts and distributes any remaining assets that go through probate.
Probating an estate in Georgia usually involves these three steps: Gathering all the assets of the deceased persons estate, including money, investments, bank accounts, real estate, and other property. Paying off the debts and taxes owed by the estate. Distributing the remaining assets to the heirs.

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