A Will must be probated. Once a Will has been probated, it is given the force of law.

Contrary to common belief, all estates must go through the probate process, with or without a Will.

Having a Will, however, speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you’d like your estate settled. Probate courts serve the purpose of “administering your estate.”

If you don’t have a Will, it can that lead to confusion with the settling of the estate. Georgia law has done a good job of trying to provide for folks who don’t have the foresight to prepare a Will.

But without a Will, you are leaving to chance who will be in charge of settling your estate and how it will be settled.

Selecting an executor of your estate is a key part of the Will. Executors make sure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, canceling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other business establishments.

Because executors play the biggest role in the administration of your estate, you’ll want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized which may or may not always be a family member.

You shouldn’t create a Will and forget about it. You should review your will every four or five years to determine if it is still applicable to you and your situation. And perhaps even more often if there have been changes in the family situation. You also need to take in to account in changes in the tax law.

Estate Planning and Administration