2021 Georgia Code
Title 53 - Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates
Chapter 5 - Probate
Article 3 - Solemn Form
§ 53-5-20. Conclusiveness

Universal Citation: GA Code § 53-5-20 (2021)
  1. Probate in solemn form is conclusive upon all persons served with notice, including persons waiving service of notice or served with notice through a guardian ad litem or other appropriate representative, and upon all beneficiaries under the will who are represented by the personal representative.
  2. As to heirs and other persons required to be served with notice by Code Section 53-5-22 who are not effectively served with notice in a manner adequate to satisfy subsection (a) of this Code section, a proceeding to probate in solemn form shall otherwise be as conclusive as if probate had been in common form.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, a proceeding to probate in solemn form is conclusive against all persons, regardless of service or notice, six months from the date the order admitting such will to probate in solemn form is entered by the court in such proceeding.

(Code 1981, §53-5-20, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 504, § 10; Ga. L. 2020, p. 377, § 1-21/HB 865.)

The 2020 amendment, effective January 1, 2021, designated the first sentence of the previously existing provisions as subsection (a) and, in subsection (a), substituted "persons served with notice, including persons waiving service of notice or served with notice through a guardian ad litem or other appropriate representative," for "parties notified" and substituted "personal representative" for "executor"; designated the second sentence of the previously existing provisions as subsection (b) and, in subsection (b), inserted "and other persons required to be served with notice by Code Section 53-5-22 who are" and substituted "served with notice in a manner adequate to satisfy subsection (a) of this Code section" for "notified"; and added subsection (c).

Cross references.

- Subscribing witness's testimony, § 24-9-903.

Law reviews.

- For article discussing methods of summary distribution and settlement of decedent's estate, see 6 Ga. L. Rev. 74 (1971). For annual survey on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 71 Mercer L. Rev. 327 (2019). For comment on Byrd v. Riggs, 209 Ga. 930, 76 S.E.2d 774 (1953), see 16 Ga. B.J. 338 (1954); 18 Ga. B.J. 211 (1955). For comment on the constitutionality of Ga. L. 1958, pp. 657, 658; as amended by Ga. L. Ex. Sess., 1964, pp. 16, 17, reducing the number of required witnesses to a will to two, in light of the constitutional provision that no law shall refer to more than one subject matter, see 1 Ga. St. B.J. 126 (1964).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, § 113-602, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Probate in solemn form required notice to all heirs at law under former Code 1933, § 113-602 and such notice should be personal if the party resides in the state, but may be made by publication upon proper order of court when such party resided outside the state or was unknown under former Code 1933, § 43-5-21. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 916 (decided under former Code 1933, § 113-602).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 79 Am. Jur. 2d, Wills, § 735 et seq. 80 Am. Jur. 2d, Wills, §§ 932, 937, 1035 et seq., 1063.

C.J.S.

- 95 C.J.S., Wills, §§ 447 et seq., 472, 473, 616 et seq., 800 et seq.

ALR.

- Probate of will or proceedings subsequent thereto as affecting right to probate later codicil or will, and rights and remedies of parties thereunder, 107 A.L.R. 249; 157 A.L.R. 1351.

Probate of copy of lost will as precluding later contest of will under doctrine of res judicata, 55 A.L.R.3d 755.

Wills: challenge in collateral proceeding to decree admitting will to probate, on ground of fraud inducing complainant not to resist probate, 84 A.L.R.3d 1119.

Right to probate subsequently discovered will as affected by completed prior proceedings in intestate administration, 2 A.L.R.4th 1315.

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