Tonight’s post about locating assets when a loved on dies was written by our Georgia Probate attorney, Steve Worrall.
As a Georgia estate planning and probate lawyer, I’m often given the responsibility to help clients through the probate process after the death of their loved one.
I can say from experience that when people lose someone they care about and then go directly into dealing with courts, they just feel completely out of their element.
However, it is my job as a Georgia probate attorney to educate them and un-complicate their role as the executor or trustee of an estate as much as possible, using my extensive knowledge of Georgia’s probate laws and my years of experience in that arena.
One of the most difficult steps in the probate process is accounting for the deceased’s assets, debts and money owed to them.
If a clear estate plan does not exist with these lists already compiled, a probate lawyer will most likely guide and even assist the executor in searching within the deceased’s county records for titles, deeds, and even judgments against the deceased.
Mail provides another useful source of information. During the first month or so after a death, the executor can be on the lookout in the mail for bills that will show debts owed by their loved one. However, as a general rule of thumb, the executor will want to continue to monitor the deceased’s mail for up to a year for any other important financial information.
The deceased’s checkbook and bank account records can also provide important clues. There might be automatic payments coming out for rental properties, personal loans, insurance policies and so on.
Finally the executor should look through the deceased’s personal address book. Lawyers, insurance agents, bankers and financial advisors should be noted and contacted.
If you, as the executor, uncover outstanding assets, a Georgia probate lawyer like me can then assist you to create accurate accountings and help you submit the documentation necessary to stay in compliance with probate laws here in our state.
If you have questions about going through the probate process after the loss of a loved one, please don’t feel like you are in this alone. Reach out to our office. We can assist you with your legal needs.
Steve helps our clients throughout Georgia from our offices in Savannah, Atlanta, Gainsesville, Canton, Lawrenceville and Marietta.