Intestate Estates

Administration of the Estate When There is No Will
An individual who dies (also called a decedent) and who has no will is said to have died intestate. This means in most circumstances that the Probate Court will need to appoint an administrator to handle the property that the decedent owned. Some of the frequently asked questions about the administration of estates are answered on this website. If you have any other procedural questions, you may contact our office at 706-613-3320. Questions of a legal nature must be directed to an attorney.

In order to apply to have an administrator appointed, you should use Georgia Probate Court Standard Form 3 (Petition for Letters of Administration). The standard forms are available at the courthouse or online through the Georgia Probate Courts. The form must be filed in the Probate Court of the county where the decedent was domiciled at death. If the decedent is survived by a spouse and/or minor children, they may consider filing for year's support.

Property Distribution
After paying all debts, the administrator will distribute the property to the decedent's heirs. The heirs are the closest relatives of the decedent and must be listed on page one (Part 3) of the Standard Form 3. If you need help determining the heirs of the decedent, you may consult the rules of inheritance page, which has a text version and flowchart for determination of heirs.

The fees for Standard Form 3 must be paid upon filing the petition with the Probate Court. The Probate Court will accept cash, money orders, or personal checks made payable to Probate Court.

The filing fees payable to the Probate Court are:
  • $159.50:  Filing fee
  • $    2.00:  Per page filed, including the petition and pages prepared by the Court.
  • $  10.00:  Certified copy of letters of administration (each)

If notice in the newspaper is required or requested, separate payment to the Athens Banner Herald of $80 is also due at the time of filing.