The Georgia last will and testament is an official document created for the purpose of protection of personal property and funds and their proper distribution among beneficiaries after the testator’s death, according to the choice of the latter. Children, spouses, parents, close relatives and friends, as well as charitable organizations or any other institutions are usually the beneficiaries in the majority of cases. The presence of two witnesses and a notary public is required to make a Last Will valid. It is always possible to make alterations to the document, as long as the testator is of sound mind at the moment of a Will modification.
How to Write Your Own Will in Georgia
Step 1 – Name a testator
Download a Last Will template and at the beginning of the document specify a person who makes a will, namely a testator. The testator writes down their full name, city, county of residence. It is essential that they familiarize themselves with the section “Expenses and Taxes”.
Step 2 – Nominate an Executor
The testator chooses an executor, also known as Personal Representative, who will be responsible for the proper execution of a will. Hence, the grantor indicates the name of their executor, their address, county and state. If the testator wants to make sure that their will is still carried out well even when the chosen executor cannot or does not want to assume this role, they may select an alternate executor. In this case the full name, complete address, county and state of residence of the alternate representative must be submitted as well.
Step 3 – Choose Beneficiaries
The grantor provides information about their beneficiaries and the property which should be distributed to them. If the beneficiaries are more than three, a separate sheet of paper with other beneficiaries information should be added to the document. This page should contain the testator’s signature and the date. The information regarding each beneficiary must include the following: their full legal name, valid complete address, relationship to the declarant/testator, the last 4 digits of their SSN and the property that will be distributed to them after the testator’s death. Moreover, the declarant may additionally consider how the property should be divided if any beneficiary passes away before inheriting the property.
Step 4 – Binding Agreement
The testator must read all the document and verify all the information entered. Next, they type or write their name, the document’s date, their printed name and the signature’s date. The proper format of all the dates in the document is dd/mm/yyyy.
Step 5 – Witnesses and their signatures
It is mandatory that all signatories are present before any signature is added in the document. The delegated witnesses read the brief statement, sign the document and provide their full addresses.
Step 6 – Notarizing a Will
A notary public witnesses all signatures and completes the document.
How to Make A Will in Georgia
Georgia State Will Requirements
The requirements for writing a Last Will according to the laws of the State of Georgia can be found in Title 53 “Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates”. GA Section 53-4-20 provides detailed information about the signing of the document. According to it, there should be two or even more witnesses present, so that a Will can be considered as legal.
What are the Requirements for a Will to be Valid in Georgia
If you create a Will in Georgia, you must fulfill certain requirements to make it valid.
- The testator must be fourteen or more years old, know their property and the beneficiaries.
- A Will, written under coercion and pressure, is not legal.
- A Will must be in writing, since an oral Will is not valid in Georgia.
- The document must be signed by the testator themselves or by a person delegated to do so on declarant’s behalf.
- There must be at a minimum two witnesses present who will sign a Will. They must be competent and at least fourteen years old.
Does a Will Have to be Notarized in Georgia
According to Georgia law, a Will is still valid and legal, even if it is not notarized. A self-proving affidavit is allowed. Its form can be found in O.C.G.A. section 53-4-24.