2020 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 9 - Probate Courts
Article 3 - Costs and Compensation
§ 15-9-60. (For Effective Date, See note.) Fees

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-9-60 (2020)
  1. The judges or clerks of the probate courts of this state shall be entitled to charge and collect the sums enumerated in this Code section.
  2. All sums that the probate courts may be required to collect pursuant to Code Sections 15-23-7, 15-9-60.1, and 36-15-9 and all other sums as may be required by law shall be in addition to the sums provided in this Code section. The sums provided for in this Code section are exclusive of costs for service of process, fees for publication of citation or notice, or any additional sums as may be provided by law.
  3. The fees provided for in this Code section shall be paid into the county treasury less and except only such sums as are otherwise directed to be paid by law, which sums shall be remitted as provided by law by either the probate court or the county.
  4. Subject to the provisions of Code Section 15-9-61, and except for the filing of a proceeding in which the filing party also files with the court a sworn affidavit that the party is unable because of indigence to pay the cost of court, all sums specified in this Code section shall be paid to the court at the time of filing or as thereafter incurred for services rendered. In accordance with Code Section 15-9-61, the judges of the probate courts are entitled to an advance cost of $30.00 for deposit to be made before filing any proceeding.
  5. Cost in decedent's estates:
    1. Except as otherwise provided, the cost in an initial proceeding regarding the estate of a decedent or of a missing individual believed to be dead shall be $130.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order on such initial proceedings, exclusive of recording charges;
    2. As used in this subsection, the term "initial proceeding" shall mean the first proceeding filed in the probate court in connection with or regarding the estate of a decedent or of a missing individual believed to be dead, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following proceedings: petition for temporary letters of administration; petition for letters of administration; petition to probate will in common form; petition to probate will in solemn form; petition to probate will in solemn form and for letters of administration with will annexed; petition for order declaring no administration necessary; petition for year's support; petition for presumption of death of missing individual believed to be dead; any proceeding for ancillary administration by a foreign personal representative; or any other proceeding by which the jurisdiction of the probate court is first invoked with regard to the estate of a decedent or of a missing individual believed to be dead;
    3. As used in this subsection, the term "initial proceeding" shall not include a petition to establish custodial account for missing heir, a petition to enter a safe-deposit box, or any other petition or proceeding for which a specific cost is otherwise set forth in this Code section;
    4. Except as otherwise provided, the cost shall be $75.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order, exclusive of recording charges, in any of the proceedings listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection filed subsequent to the filing of an initial proceeding regarding the estate of the same decedent or missing individual believed to be dead;
    5. Except as otherwise provided, the cost shall be $50.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order, exclusive of recording charges, for the filing of the following proceedings or pleadings regarding the estate of a decedent or of a missing individual believed to be dead: petition for letters of administration with will annexed (will previously probated); petition of personal representative for leave to sell property; petition for leave to sell perishable property; petition for leave to sell or encumber property previously set aside as year's support; petition by administrator for waiver of bond, grant of certain powers, or both; petition for discharge; petition by personal representative for approval of a division in kind; petition to determine heirs; petition by personal representative for direction under will; petition by personal representative to compromise a disputed claim or debt; petition by or against personal representative for an accounting or final settlement; petition to resign as personal representative and for the appointment of a successor; petition to remove a personal representative and for the appointment of a successor; citation against a personal representative for failure to make returns or for alleged mismanagement of estate; a caveat, objection, or other responsive pleading by which the proceeding becomes contested filed by any person to whom notice or citation has been issued; petition or motion to intervene as an interested party; and any other petition application, motion, or other pleading for which no specific cost is set forth in this Code section filed regarding the estate of a decedent or of a missing individual believed to be dead;
    6. Except as otherwise provided, the cost shall be $25.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order, exclusive of recording charges, for the filing of the following proceedings, pleadings, or documents regarding the estate of a decedent or of a missing individual believed to be dead: petition to change accounting period; petition to enter a safe-deposit box; petition or motion for attorneys' fees; petition or motion of personal representative for extra compensation; or inventory, appraisement, or annual, intermediate, or final returns of personal representatives; and
    7. Except as otherwise provided, the cost shall be $10.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court, exclusive of recording charges, for the filing of the following proceedings, pleadings, or documents regarding the estate of a decedent or of a missing person believed to be dead: notice of claim or claim of a creditor, if such notice or claim is filed with and accepted by the court; declination to serve of nominated personal representative; or renunciation of right of succession.
  6. (For effective date, see note.) Costs in minor guardianship and conservatorship matters:
    1. Except as otherwise provided, the cost in a proceeding regarding the person, property, or person and property of a minor shall be $75.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order on such proceeding, exclusive of recording charges, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following proceedings: petition for temporary letters of guardianship of a minor; petition for letters of guardianship, conservatorship, or guardianship and conservatorship of a minor by person other than natural guardian; petition for letters of conservatorship of a minor, by natural guardian, with bond - personal property over $5,000.00; petition for order that natural guardian not be required to become legally qualified conservator; application of guardian, conservator, or guardian and conservator for letters of dismission; or any other proceeding by which the jurisdiction of the probate court is first invoked with regard to the person, property, or person and property of a minor; and
    2. Except as otherwise provided, the costs for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court shall be as set forth below for the following proceedings, pleadings, or documents regarding the person, property, or person and property of a minor, exclusive of recording charges:
      1. Petition of conservator for leave to sell............ $ 70.00
      2. Petition to compromise doubtful claim of minor............ $ 70.00
      3. Petition for leave to encroach on corpus............ $ 30.00
      4. Petition to change accounting period............ $ 25.00
      5. Inventory or annual, intermediate, or final return (each)............ $ 30.00
      6. Petition or motion for attorneys' fees............ $ 70.00
      7. Petition to terminate temporary guardianship of minor............ $ 30.00
      8. Any other petition, application, motion, or other pleading for which no specific cost is set forth in this Code section filed regarding an existing guardianship or conservatorship of a minor............ $ 30.00
  7. (For effective date, see note.) Costs in adult guardianship and conservatorship matters:
    1. Except as otherwise provided, the cost in a proceeding regarding the person, property, or person and property of an adult alleged to be incapacitated shall be $150.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order on such proceeding, exclusive of recording charges, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following proceedings: petition for the appointment of an emergency guardian, conservator, or guardian and conservator for an alleged gravely incapacitated adult; petition for the appointment of an emergency and permanent guardian, conservator, or guardian and conservator for an alleged gravely incapacitated adult; petition for the appointment of a guardian, conservator, or guardian and conservator for an alleged incapacitated adult; or any other proceeding by which the jurisdiction of the probate court is first invoked with regard to an adult alleged to be incapacitated; and
    2. Except as otherwise provided, the cost for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court shall be as set forth below for the following proceedings, pleadings, or documents regarding the person, property, or person and property of an incapacitated adult, exclusive of recording charges:
      1. Petition of conservator for leave to sell............ $ 70.00
      2. Petition to compromise doubtful claim............ 70.00
      3. Petition for leave to encroach on corpus............ 30.00
      4. Petition to change accounting period............ 25.00
      5. Inventory or annual, intermediate, or final return (each)............ 30.00
      6. Petition or motion for attorneys' fees............ 70.00
      7. Petition to terminate or modify guardianship or conservatorship of incapacitated adult............ 70.00
      8. Application of guardian or conservator for letters of dismission............ 75.00
      9. Any other petition, application, motion, or other pleading for which no specific cost is set forth in this Code section filed regarding an existing guardianship or conservatorship of an adult............ 70.00
  8. Costs in matters involving sterilization, involuntary treatment, habilitation, or temporary placement:
    1. Except as otherwise provided, the cost in a proceeding filed under Chapter 20 of Title 31, Chapter 36A of Title 31, or Chapter 3, 4, or 7 of Title 37 shall be $130.00 for all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order on such proceeding, exclusive of recording charges;
    2. There shall be no cost assessed for the receipt and consideration of affidavits in support of an order to apprehend under Part 1 of Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 37 or Part 1 of Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 37 or for the issuance of the order to apprehend; and
    3. There shall be no cost assessed for the receipt and consideration of a petition in support of an order to apprehend under Part 3 of Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 37 or Part 3 of Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 37 or for the issuance of the order to apprehend a patient alleged to be in noncompliance with an involuntary outpatient treatment order.
  9. Costs for hearings in contested matters:
    1. For conducting trials of contested matters or for formal hearing on the denial of an application for a weapons carry license before the probate court, the cost shall be $30.00 per one-half day or portion thereof;
    2. (For effective date, see note.) There shall be no additional cost for the initial hearing in adult guardianship or conservatorship matters or in matters involving sterilization, involuntary treatment, habilitation, or involuntary placement; and
    3. There shall be no cost for any hearing in an uncontested matter.
  10. Custodial accounts. For each account accepted by the judge of the probate court as custodian for a minor, incapacitated adult, or missing or unknown heir or beneficiary, there shall be a one-time fee of 8 percent of the fund deducted from the fund when first accepted.

(k) (For effective date, see note.) Miscellaneous costs. Except as otherwise provided, the judge or clerk of the probate court shall be entitled to the following costs for the proceedings, pleading, documents, or services itemized:

(1) Application for writ of habeas corpus ....................$ 75.00 (2) Petition to establish lost papers, exclusive of recording charges ........................................................................50.00 (3) Petition for or declaration of exemptions ..................25.00 (4) Petition to change birth certificate .......................75.00 (5) For all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court through the entry of the final order, exclusive of recording charges, for any application or petition by which the jurisdiction of the probate court is first invoked for which no cost is set forth in this Code section or other applicable law ...................................................70.00 (6) Issuance of any order, including a rule nisi, in any matter for which the costs set forth in this Code section do not include all services to be rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court, exclusive of recording charges ......................................................30.00 (7) Motions, amendments, or other pleadings filed in any matter for which the cost set forth in this Code section does not include all services to be rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court, exclusive of recording charges, and no other cost is set forth in this Code section .15.00 (8) For processing appeals to superior court, exclusive of recording charges ................................................................30.00 (9) For issuance of writ of fieri facias (fi.fa.) ..............10.00 (10) For all services rendered by the judge or clerk of the probate court in the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction pursuant to Code Section 15-9-127 for which no cost is set forth in this Code section. The sums charged shall be the same as those charged for such services in the superior court pursuant to Code Section 15-6-77 or other applicable law. (11) For issuance of permit to discharge fireworks ................30 (12) Application for weapons carry license (exclusive of fees charged by other agencies for the examination of criminal records and mental health records) ...........................................................30 (13) For issuance of a replacement weapons carry license ..........6 (13.1) For issuance of personal identification cards to judges or Justices. The fee shall be determined by The Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia pursuant to Code Section 15-25-3. (14) Application for marriage license if the applicants have completed premarital education pursuant to Code Section 19-3-30.1 .....No fee (14.1) Application for a marriage license if the applicants have not completed premarital education pursuant to Code Section 19-3-30.1 ........40 (15) For the safekeeping of a will ................................15 (16) For issuance of a veteran's license ....................No fee (17) Reserved. (18) For issuance of a certificate of residency ..................10 (19) Registration of junk dealer ..................................10 (20) Certification of publication of application for insurance company charter ...........................................................10 (21) Recording of marks and brands, each ........................15 (22) Exemplification .............................................15 (23) Certification under seal of copies (plus copy cost) ..........10 (24) Certified copies of letters of personal representative, temporary administrator, conservator, or guardian, each, including copy cost ...........................................................................10 (25) For issuance of a subpoena, each ...........................10 (26) For filing and recording of oath or bond of any official, officer, or employee of any municipality or authority within the county, each ...........................................................................10 (27) For filing and recording of oath or bond of county official or officer ...............................................................No fee (28) For examination of records or files by employee of the probate court to provide abstract of information contained therein or to provide copies therefrom, per estate or name ......................................10 (29) Recording, per page ..........................................2 (30) Copies, per page ...........................................1.00

(Laws 1792, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 352; Laws 1824, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 358; Ga. L. 1851-52, p. 91, § 18; Ga. L. 1855-56, p. 147, § 1; Ga. L. 1857, p. 49, § 1; Code 1863, § 3618; Ga. L. 1865-66, p. 40, § 1; Code 1868, § 3643; Ga. L. 1870, p. 67, § 1; Code 1873, § 3694; Ga. L. 1882-83, p. 61, § 1; Code 1882, § 3694; Ga. L. 1889, p. 76, § 1; Ga. L. 1889, p. 79, § 1; Civil Code 1895, § 4269; Civil Code 1910, § 4827; Code 1933, § 24-1716; Ga. L. 1939, p. 210, § 1; Ga. L. 1950, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1958, p. 354, § 2; Ga. L. 1971, p. 591, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1062, § 2; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1939, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1661, § 4; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 15; Code 1933, § 24-1716.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 552, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 552, § 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 12; Ga. L. 1983, p. 404, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 867, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1753, § 2;Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 15; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1192, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2521, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 15; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 15; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1173, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 139, §§ 5, 6; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 4; Ga. L. 2001, p. 960, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 415, § 15; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1011, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1485, § 1/HB 378; Ga. L. 2010, p. 9, § 1-39/HB 1055; Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 2-3/SB 308; Ga. L. 2016, p. 263, § 2/SB 332; Ga. L. 2020, p. 377, § 2-17/HB 865.)

Cross references.

- Fees payable to judge of probate court for granting or refusing permit to conduct fireworks display, § 25-10-4.

Fee for taking of affidavit of attesting witness for use in probate proceedings, § 53-3-15.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2001, the designations for subparagraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(viii) were changed to (f)(2)(A) through (f)(2)(H), respectively; the designations for subparagraphs (g)(2)(i) through (g)(2)(ix) were changed to (g)(2)(A) through (g)(2)(I), respectively; "does not" was substituted for "do not" in paragraph (k)(7); and "No fee" was substituted for "No Fee" in paragraphs (k)(16) and (k)(27).

The amendment of paragraph (k)(12) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2010, p. 9, § 1-39, irreconcilably conflicted with and was treated as superseded by Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 2-3. See County of Butts v. Strahan, 151 Ga. 417 (1921); Keener v. McDougall, 232 Ga. 273 (1974).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2016, a period was added following "Justices" in paragraph (k)(13.1).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1995, p. 139, § 7, not codified by the General Assembly, provided that the 1995 amendment which added paragraph (a)(33) and subparagraph (e)(1)(CC) would apply to the sale or transfer of handguns on or after January 1, 1996.

Ga. L. 1995, p. 139, § 7, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that no local ordinance which was in effect on July 1, 1995, shall be affected by Code Section 16-11-184 until January 1, 1996, at which time, unless enacted subsequent to July 1, 1995, as provided by that Code section, any such ordinance shall be of no further force or effect, and further provides that no ordinance or regulation attempting to regulate firearms in any manner shall be enacted by any county, city, or municipality after July 1, 1995.

Ga. L. 1995, p. 139, § 8, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that paragraph (a)(33) and subparagraph (e)(1)(CC) of this Code section shall be repealed automatically upon a final judicial determination that the Act is invalid for any reason.

Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 16, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendments to paragraph (c)(28) and subparagraph (e)(3)(BB) are applicable with respect to notices delivered on or after July 1, 2000.

Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 3-1/SB 308, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on and after June 4, 2010 and shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before June 4, 2010 and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecution.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Pitfalls in Probate Practice and Procedure," see 21 Ga. B. J. 169 (1958). For article, "Crimes and Offenses," see 27 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 131 (2011). For note on the 1995 amendment of this Code section, see 12 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 118 (1995).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Gunby v. Yates, 214 Ga. 17, 102 S.E.2d 548 (1958); International Minerals & Chem. Corp. v. Bledsoe, 126 Ga. App. 243, 190 S.E.2d 572 (1972); Richmond County v. Pierce, 234 Ga. 274, 215 S.E.2d 665 (1975).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

This section requires filing of cost deposit prior to institution of proceeding in probate court; a proceeding should be defined to include the filing of any petition or application in probate court which seeks action independent of the matters then pending before the court and which cannot be obtained without the filing of such petition or application. 1978 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U78-23.

Relief from filing deposits for indigents not permanent if indigents later able to pay.

- Purpose of statutory provisions allowing indigent persons relief from the filing of deposits such as Ga. L. 1952, p. 584, §§ 1 and 2 and former Code 1933, §§ 24-2716.1 and 24-2716.2 (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 9-15-2,15-9-60, and15-9-61) was to provide an indigent access to the courts, and it did not appear that the General Assembly intended to permanently relieve a litigant from responsibility to pay any probate court costs regardless of the litigant's ultimate ability to pay those costs; accordingly, a party allowed to proceed in forma pauperis without the filing of such an advance cost deposit can be required to pay court costs if the party later becomes able to pay the costs by virtue of receipt of estate funds through probate proceedings. 1978 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U78-48.

Probate judge compensated on fee basis is entitled to fees prescribed in this section in connection with the services rendered in a recall effort. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-37.

Upon filing of application for recall petition, judge entitled to deposit.

- Probate judge compensated on a fee basis is entitled to a deposit upon the filing of an application for a recall petition except in those instances when the applicant is unable by reason of poverty to pay the deposit and files an affidavit to that effect. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-37.

Fee for probate judge when recall election is called.

- If a recall petition is successful and a recall election is called, the probate judge would be entitled to a fee for each ballot box for the preparation of all papers, appointing managers, and consolidating returns associated with such recall election. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-37.

Compensation of probate judge computed under schedule.

- Ordinary (now probate judge), compensated under the fee system, may properly include in the ordinary's (now probate judge's) budget of election expenses, the ordinary's (now probate judge's) compensation computed from the schedule found in the statute. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-274.

Fee for probate judge for conveying year's support.

- Fee set forth in the statute is proper fee for ordinary (now probate judge) for conveying or incumbering a year's support and supersedes Ga. L. 1937, p. 861. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 61.

Probate judge entitled to certain fees if none specifically prescribed.

- The probate judge was entitled to receive $8.00 for any application, petition, or case if no costs were prescribed and was entitled to receive $8.00 for filing and docketing any application, petition, or case if no costs were otherwise prescribed. The probate judge was entitled to both of these fees upon the filing of an application for a recall petition. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-37.

Traffic cases.

- Costs applicable to traffic cases brought in probate courts pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-13-21, or when a judge of a probate court issues a warrant in a traffic case pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-4-23, are those enumerated in paragraph (a)(27) of O.C.G.A. § 15-9-60, plus costs allowed for other services actually performed. 1981 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U81-36.

Filing campaign financing disclosure reports.

- Former Code 1933, § 24-1716.2 (see now O.C.G.A. § 15-9-60), in authorizing the probate judge to charge a fee for the filing of any application, petition, or case when no costs were prescribed, did not authorize charging this fee for the filing of campaign financing disclosure reports by candidates for county office pursuant to the provisions concerning ethics in government. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U80-29.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Municipal Corporations, Counties, and Other Political Subdivisions, § 566 et seq. 64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations, § 58 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 34 C.J.S., Executors and Administrators, §§ 1071, 1074.

ALR.

- Disqualification of judge, justice of the peace, or similar judicial officer for pecuniary interest in fines, forfeitures, or fees payable by litigants, 72 A.L.R.3d 375.

Validity of statutes imposing a graduated probate fee based upon value of estate, 76 A.L.R.3d 1117.

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