Georgia Probate Shortcuts For Small Or Simple Estates

Small and simple estates in Georgia can take advantage of a probate shortcut to make the probate process quicker and easier.

Georgia Estate With Less Than $15,000 – Banking Affidavit

In Georgia, if you die intestate (without a valid will) with less than $15,000 in a bank account, an affidavit can be submitted to the bank, and the proceeds of the account paid out to the following individuals:

  • To the surviving spouse;
  • If no surviving spouse, to the children pro-rata;
  • If no children or surviving spouse, to the father and mother pro-rata; or
  • If none of the above, then to the brothers and sisters of the decedent pro-rata.

This Georgia probate shortcut is truly for the smallest and the simplest of estates.

See Georgia Code § 7-1-239.

Georgia Probate Petition For No Administration Necessary

Georgia also has a procedure for estates when there might be more than $15,000 and other property involved, but that are simple to administer because everyone is in agreement, including any creditors.  To take advantage of the Georgia simple estate procedure shortcut, a request is filed with probate court of the Georgia county where the decedent resided.

The simplified procedure can be used in Georgia if there is no will, the estate does not owe any debts (no creditors) and the people who are legally entitled to receive the decedent’s property all agree as to how the property is to be divided.  Many states call this procedure a small estate affidavit.  In Georgia it is called a Petition for No Administration Necessary.  The petition must contain the following information:

  • The name and address of the decedent
  • The name, ages, and addresses of the heirs of the decedent
  • A description of the property
  • A statement that the estate owes no debts
  • A statement that all of the heirs agree on how to divide the property

 

All of the decedent’s heirs must sign the petition and each signature must be notarized.

If the decedent died owning real property, then a copy of the order on the petition for no administration necessary is filed by the court in the county where the real property is located.  The order is recorded in the deed records of the county.  The certified copy of the order granting the petition that no administration is necessary shall set forth:

  • The date of the order granting the petition
  • The name and the address of the decedent
  • The interest in the property acquired by each party
  • The names and address of all parties that take title to the real property pursuant to the order issued by the court.

 

The rules governing a Georgia probate Petition for No Administration Necessary shortcut are found in Georgia Code § 53-2-40.

What Happens If a Creditor Objects To a Georgia Petition For No Administration Necessary?

A Georgia petition for no administration necessary should be used when there are no creditors.  If there are creditors of the Georgia estate, and one of them objects to the petition, then the probate court cannot grant an order finding that no administration is necessary unless the objection is withdrawn.  Georgia Code § 53-2-41.

After the granting of an order by the probate court that no administration is necessary, any creditor of the decedent shall have a right of action on the unsatisfied debts against the heirs, to the extent of the value of property received by the heirs.  Georgia Code § 53-2-42.   Filing a petition for no administration necessary might not be a probate shortcut at all if creditors exist that object and file separate actions as permitted by Georgia law.

 

General Probate Issues