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What does it mean to probate a will in solemn vs common form?

Dallas, GA |

My father just passed and I'm beginning to complete some of the probate court forms online. His will states that everything is to be divided equally among me and my sister.

Attorney Answers 2


The primary differences between common form probate and solemn form probate are (1) the notice requirements, and (2) the finality of the process.
Common Form probate in Georgia does not require notice to anyone: not the people named in the will, not the spouse nor the children of the decedent. Common form probate leaves the will submitted to probate open to challenge for an extended period of time (minimum of four years), however.
Solemn form probate requires notice to the "heirs" of the decedent as that term is defined in O.C.G.A. section 53-2-1 (1997). see O.C.G.A. section 53-5-22 (2008 Supp.). The actions of the executor are more protected when the will has been probated in solemn form and the will can not be contested by parties who have been given proper notice of the petition.
In almost all cases, it is preferable to probate a will in solemn form, but some cases may warrant common form probate. The specific circumstances of the case may dictate using one method over another. In my experience, courts may ask that if you file for common form probate that you indicate when you plan to file for solemn form probate, so the courts seem to have a preference for solemn for probate.

THIS COMMUNICATION DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND IS NOT, AND MAY NOT BE RELIED UPON, AS LEGAL ADVICE. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific facts and circumstances of the situation and the above is general in nature.

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common form probate does nto required notice to all the heirs, and likewise will not allow you to transfer any real estate along with a few select other assets. Solomn form requries notice to all heirs and allows you to administer the entire estate.

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