Georgia Laws on Inheritance Recovery & Will Contestment
On the death of a decedent, an appointed representative must file the will with the probate court where the deceased last resided.
Next, the representative sends a notice to all parties including heirs, creditors, or other individuals with interest in the will.
In the state of Georgia contesting beneficiaries and the estate heirs who stand to benefit from the will can file a caveat with the probate court. The warning is a legal response to the appointed representative’s notice.
Georgia probate can be lengthy but, before a will can be invalidated, the reasons for contesting must be proven in a court of law.
Inheritance Recovery Lawyers have the legal experience to guide you through the process of protecting your rights under state law.
Georgia Will Laws
To successfully invalidate the will, substantiated facts must demonstrate a failure to meet Georgia’s legal requirements. Foremost, the testator (will-maker) must be at least 14 years of age and compose a logical request of how to distribute the estate’s property.
The action must be free and entirely voluntarily before signing the will with two competent witnesses attesting to what they saw under oath.
If the witnesses were not present when the decree was signed, the contester might have reasonable cause to proceed.
A typical passage in Georgia wills is a no contest clause. If the beneficiaries contest, they risk losing the inheritance. Sometimes the requirement carries forward to include the beneficiary’s descendants.
Minors at the time the will entered probate can contest once they reach Georgia’s recognized majority age of 18 years old. Be aware. There are statutes of limitations from the date of the majority.
Contesting a will based on the decedent’s mental capacity is difficult to confirm because Georgia law supports that the testator understood the legal effects by taking the action of drafting and executing the will.
In this case, the challenger must provide evidence alleging the testator was incapacitated or legally insane.
For example, even though the testator may have experienced dementia. Periodic loss of memory does not necessarily prove disabled or incompetent.
If the will-maker is deceased, the testimonies of the witnesses at the will signing become critical factors.
Undue influence involves the relationship between the testator and the individual promoting the undue influence.
The courts are going to consider whether the testator was threatened and the undue influencer’s motives for the alleged action.
Fraud or forgery are criminal actions and based on evidential facts not necessarily the testator’s mental capacity.
The courts look at the circumstances surrounding the situation. If the will filed with the probation court has been revoked, modified, or amended, the contested will be invalidated.
Whether contesting is due to a procedural deficiency or the testator’s incompetence Inheritance Recovery Lawyers can help.
Like other states, Georgia has formalities on legally validating and invalidating a will.
The process is subject to complex laws tied to specific stipulations, conditions, and limitations. If you have legal grounds to contest a will, you need an expert attorney.