My husband did not have my name on his checking account. We were married 44 years and have a will with myself as the sole beneficerary I have made numorous trips to the probate court (and to a notary) to meet their requirements to obtain a "letter of testimonal?".I'm not sure if that's the right term! The last straw was my trip yesterday when the very cold, unemotional probate clerk told me that I still did not meet requirements as my husband did not sign his name on the same page of the (notarized) will as the witnesses. I had to take yet another form and have one of the witnesses sign this and get it notarized. I broke down in tears and said I really needed this money and she said "if you don't like it get a lawyer!" I said, "I can't afford a lawyer!" What now? Please help!
State/Country relating to question: Georgia
Everything they have asked me to do!
How much money is in the account?Did he own other assets only in his name?
I'm not sure. I know over 50,000, but the bank won't let me have any access at all to it.
No other assets only in his name.
Given the amount of money in the bank account -you have to go through full probate of his estate to access the monies and can't go through a small estate administration.
Probate in Georgia is a relatively streamlined and inexpensive process, unlike in many other states.
The first step in the process is to file a Petition for Probate in the county where the decedent lived. The "propounder" of the will, usually the executor named in the will, may file the Petition to Probate in "common form" or "solemn form." Common form is probate without notice to anyone upon the testimony of one subscribing witness and is not conclusive for a period of four years. Solemn form is immediately conclusive upon all properly notified heirs and upon all beneficiaries under the will. The particular option one should choose varies with each situation.
If all the requirements are met, the propounder is sworn under oath and becomes the "Executor" of the estate. The probate judge will then issue "Letters Testamentary," which officially document the authority of the executor to administer the estate.
Yes he signed the will! He just didn't sign on the page with the witnesses! There were 6 pages, his signature is on page 5. The witnesses signed on page 6. These signatures were notorized at the time! Now the witness is filling out a form testifying of the signing of the will and she has to have it notorized and then I guess I'll see what else they will find.
Then is a question of whether or not the Will is a valid Will or not.Holographic Wills are not recognized in Georgia. A holographic will is a Will that that has been entirely handwritten and signed by the testator.I presume that the Will isn't a holographic Will - it's just a matter of getting the Will authenticated as his Will because the Will was not properly executed (he didn't sign on the last page).What is done is that you go in with the witness that witnessed he signed the Will and they testify that he signed the Will - then they will authenticate the Will.The witness can also sign an affidavit to that he signed the Will and you present that too.However, in my experience it's always easier if the witnesses can go with you and testify before the probate clerk and handle it all at one time.So, if the witnesses live close by and they are willing - take them down with you to the probate court and have them testify to the signing of the Will. Thereafter they will issue the letters testimony for you to access the bank account.Please - rate me with 3 happy faces or more for my answer! Thanks!!
20 years experience in estate and trust planning, probate, and wills
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