What Is A Letter of Administration in Georgia?

What Is A Letter of Administration in Georgia

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You need a Letter of Administration when there is no will. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • who can get them
  • how to get them
  • your responsibilities
  • challenges to watch for

What Is A Letter Of Administration?

A Letter of Administration appoints an administrator of the estate. 

You need one when someone dies without a will to manage and distribute the estate

In Georgia, it involves:

  • filing a petition
  • notifying heirs
  • attending a court hearing
  • possibly posting a bond

The administrator handles:

Who Can Apply for a Letter of Administration?

Georgia probate courts prioritize close relatives for administrators. 

The order of preference is:

  1. the surviving spouse
  2. adult children
  3. parents
  4. siblings
  5. creditors

Disputes Among Siblings

Many times, we see siblings disagreeing about who should be the administrator. 

One sibling will file the Petition for Letters of Adminstration

Then, the courts will notify all the other siblings of the filing. 

Now, you can either: 

  • file your own, competing petition
  • file an objection to them being the administrator

Then, the courts will: 

  • have a hearing to hear the objections
  • determine who should be the administrator

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How To Get A Letter Of Administration

  • Filing a Petition: File a petition for a Letter of Administration with the probate court in the deceased’s county. 
  • Notification of Heirs: Notify all potential heirs after filing the petition. 
  • Court Hearing: The court schedules a hearing to review the petition and any objections. 
  • Decision: The judge decides whether to grant the Letter of Administration. If there are no disputes, this step is straightforward.
  • Posting Bond: The court may require the administrator to post a bond. This serves as insurance to protect the estate from mismanagement.
  • Issuance of the Letter of Administration: The judge issues the Letter of Administration, granting the administrator authority to manage and distribute the estate.

Responsibilities of the Administrator

The administrator’s responsibilities are: 

  • Inventory and Appraisal: List and appraise all estate assets.
  • Debt Payment: Pay all debts and taxes owed by the estate.
  • Asset Distribution: Distribute remaining assets to heirs per Georgia law.
  • Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of all estate transactions.
  • Reporting to the Court: Provide periodic reports to the probate court.
  • Property Maintenance: Protect and maintain estate property until distribution.

Challenges and Considerations

Common challenges our probate lawyers help with are: 

  • Disputes: Families have conflicts over estate management and distribution. 
  • Complex Assets: Managing businesses or multiple properties. 
  • Legal & Financial Responsibilities: The courts set strict obligations. 

Get Help From A Probate Lawyer

Are you overwhelmed by the Georgia probate process

Our Georgia probate attorneys handle everything for you.

You shouldn’t be spending this tough time figuring out how to: 

  • properly notifying all parties
  • inventory and appraise the property
  • pay off creditors
  • distribute property
  • keep accounting
  • close probate

Fill out the form to take this off your plate.

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