Deed of Assent Georgia: What Is It and When Is It Used?

 

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The Basics of a Deed of Assent in Georgia

When the executor of a will signs a deed of assent in Georgia, they agree to transfer the deceased’s property to the intended heir. Learn more here.

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Faulkner Law, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on December 01, 2021.

When a person dies, their property is transferred to someone else. This typically happens when the deceased person had a will and appointed who the heir or beneficiary of the property would be.

A deed of assent can convey real property found in the will to heirs or beneficiaries entitled to the property in question under the decedent’s will. While a deed is the actual paper document that states you own a property or proves you own it, a title gives you the right to own it.

There are several types of deeds, including:

  • Warranty Deed
  • Quitclaim Deed
  • Executor’s Deed
  • Deed of Assent
  • Administrator’s Deed

There are also other deeds, such as a foreclosure deed or a deed to secure debt, but they may not be usually used for sale or purchase transactions.

You will get a warranty deed from real estate agents in most property purchases. The warranty deed is the most commonly used of all deeds, and it guarantees that the title to the property is in good standing.

On the other hand, a quitclaim deed doesn’t guarantee the title to the property is in good standing. A quitclaim deed can be used, for example, when transferring property to one of the members of your family.

An executor’s deed is used when a personal representative or administrator appointed by the Probate Court transfers property from the decedent’s estate. For example, the court may instruct the estate’s personal representative to sell the property to pay the estate’s debts. In that case, the representative can use the executor’s deed.

 

When Is a Georgia Deed of Assent Used?

A deed of assent is used when the transfer of real property is made according to the specific instructions contained in the will made by the decedent. The deed of assent simply acknowledges the property transfer made in the will.

However, assent is different from a transfer because a person can only assent property from the estate of a deceased individual.

Sometimes, estate deeds, including executor’s deed, administrator’s deed, and deed of assent, are considered a type of quitclaim deed because they convey property that is in an estate without general warranties of title.

All these terms may sound very confusing, so you may need help from an experienced real estate lawyer who can help you sort things out.

Real estate attorney Stan Faulkner at Faulkner Law possesses a deep understanding of Georgia real estate laws, so he will make sure your interests are protected. With over 18 years of legal experience, he is the right person to offer legal advice and guidance on whatever real estate issue you are struggling with.

What Is a Deed of Assent?

When you inherit property from a deceased person, a deed of assent is used. However, if any loans or debts are attached to the property, you have to pay them before receiving the deed. 

Under Georgia law (OCGA 53-8-15), “title to property in the estate does not pass to the heirs or beneficiaries until the personal representative assents thereto in evidence of the distribution of the property to them.”

In other words, a deed of assent is necessary for the probate process, but it becomes valid only when an executor or personal representative signs over the property. This written document states exactly that – the administrator agrees to the title transfer. However, before the property transfer, payment of all debts on the title has to be conducted. 

When Should You Assent a Property?

 

A deed of assent is a written document that indicates the administrator of the will agrees to the title transfer and that the property titles of a deceased person should be transferred into the name of the heir that is meant to receive the property.

However, the will of the deceased, along with the deed of assent, can be contested. A knowledgeable real estate dispute attorney can help you negotiate a potential settlement and successfully resolve these issues if you encounter a potential estate dispute. Contact Faulkner Law at (770) 685-9501 or browse our website to see how we can assist you.

How Long Does an Executor Have to Settle an Estate in Georgia?

After someone dies, the person who has their original will has a legal obligation to file it with the appropriate Probate Court. Filing a will doesn’t mean the estate will automatically go through probate. Probate is usually required if the deceased person owned assets or property in their name alone. 

Transferring property from the deceased person’s estate to the heirs is called estate settlement. In addition to probate, it can also occur through the administration of a living trust in Georgia.

If the deceased named someone as an executor of the estate in their will, that person has to go to court and request to be formally appointed. If no one is named or if the person named isn’t willing to do the duties required, the court appoints an administrator who will have the same duties as the personal representative or executor. 

The personal representative will have to take an oath to act in the best interest of the estate, and the court will issue a document (Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration) that will formally appoint the person. 

Usually, all the heirs and creditors have to be notified, and debts of the creditors paid before beginning the process of transferring assets and obtaining and distributing deeds for the property in the will.

However, bear in mind that there is no time limit when it comes to settling an estate. The usual time to open an estate can be from two weeks to even six months. It can take even longer, but it can cause different issues along the way. However, on average, the whole probate process can last from 12 to 18 months, depending on several factors. 

If you are trying to avoid probate, know that the State of Georgia doesn’t allow real estate to be transferred by using transfer-on-death deeds.

How Long Does a Deed of Assent Take?

The necessary step in this process is filing the deed of assent with the appropriate government office in your county. This step is also called recording the deed. It would take from two weeks to several months to record a deed, providing everything is done correctly. 

If this is not done how it’s supposed to, or someone in the process has made a mistake, and a deed hasn’t been recorded, you won’t be recognized as the legal owner of the property. That has further consequences, including that you can’t sell your property if you want to. 

Probated deeds are public records. That means you can go to the county recording office where the property is located and check if the deed was filed for that property.   

Where Can I Find a Form for a Deed of Assent?

There is no form that will work for each particular case when it comes to this deed. That is because all deeds of assent should contain unique information regarding the estate and what authorizes the transfer. In addition, assent must reference or quote precise language from the will and the Letters testamentary.

If you make a mistake, consequences can be expensive and serious. Making the title unmarketable can be just one of the consequences, and fixing them may require a lot more money than you would have spent by paying an attorney to draft you the assent. Also, the attorney you hire can make sure everything is being done correctly and review the administration. 

Settling an estate, handling different probate matters, or dealing with a deed of assent or other deeds can be complicated and confusing. Consulting a qualified lawyer can be beneficial and make the process go efficiently and smoothly. 

Stan Faulkner at Faulkner Law can assist not only by drawing the deed of assent but also by helping the personal representative tackle all the duties they have during the probate process. Reach out to the Faulkner Law firm and schedule a consultation.

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