What is the general time limit to start probate?

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What is the general time limit to start probate?

My father died over a month ago. He told me he had a Will and even gave me specific details. We were very close. I’m assuming my stepmother is the executor but she will not speak to me or any of my father’s family members. All of my father’s vehicles and other personal items are now gone from the property. She has been moving things out of the house. Is this legal before probate? No Will has been entered into the clerk’s office. What if she decides to “misplace” or “lose” the Will?

Asked on February 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You and your family members should immediately discuss consulting with a probate law attorney. There are several forms of probate and forms in your state. As a result, she could file any one of those or nothing at all, depending on what there is in the property actually. If she owned everything jointly with your father (joint tenants with rights of survivorship or the names were in both like a bank account or she was the beneficiary on insurance), probate is not needed. So consider talking to a lawyer and seeing if a preliminary motion in court is needed even before probate opens.


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