Marietta Estate Planning in the Comfort of Your Home


The short answer is sometimes. Decades ago, it was a common requirement for one or both witnesses to be located in order to admit a will for probate. Today that’s not the case. Under Georgia law, if two witnesses and a notary are used, and the witnesses and a notary sign a form called a “self-proving affidavit”, the witnesses typically do not need to be located.

There are, however, some exceptions. Following are some of the most common exceptions for when a witness to the will needs to be located:

  • The original will cannot be found and a copy is offered for probate. In that case, at least one of the witnesses must be located.
  • The will lacks a self-proving affidavit. If the will is signed by two witnesses and a notary, but lacks the Georgia self-proving affidavit form, or if the form is an out of state form, it’s likely at least one of the witnesses must be located.
  • There is some question to the validity of the will. If there are questions raised about the execution of the will, whether a will is an original or a copy, or some other issue about the will, it’s likely that one or more of the witnesses will need to be found.

As you can see, it’s not as common now to have to locate a witness as it was in the past, but it still happens. If you believe locating a witness will be an issue, you should speak with an estate planning attorney. It’s better to address the issue before a person passes away. Call me, Sarah White, Marietta estate planning attorney at 678-453-6490. I am happy to look at your will and give my opinion on whether a new one is required. Call me today or email me at to learn more.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. My firm has a lot to be thankful for this season. Since opening my own firm very gradually with zero clients in 2008, and experience with estate planning but no experience with running my own business, I have experienced tremendous growth. Here are some work-related things I’m very thankful for:

– My current and former clients. Without you, my dream of opening my own firm wouldn’t have been possible. I sincerely thank all of you for putting your trust in me.

– My trusted advisors. I appreciate deeply the faith you put in me when referring a client to me, and I strive to do a fantastic job for those clients. I also appreciate your willingness to take the time from your busy schedule to answer a question when I call.

– My support staff. This includes my awesome paralegal, Kristina, my incredibly flexible babysitter, Marion, and my wonderful husband.

– Technology. I couldn’t have opened the practice of my dreams without the internet. With the power of technology, I am able to easily market my practice, successfully maintain a part-time practice, communicate with clients more easily and efficiently, and be more productive.

I can’t believe where my firm is at today, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have chosen a line of work that allows me to both pursue my professional passions while also spending a great deal of time with my children. I hope you all have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, as well.

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks to all of my clients who helped make 2011 the best one yet for my firm. In spite of the tough economic times, my firm thrived, partially because of my low fees, and partially due to an ever-increasing number of referrals from happy clients. If you are one of those clients who sent me a referral – THANKS! As a small business, I rely heavily on referrals to generate new business.

2011 brought a lot of new challenges for me professionally. I was thrilled to help the parents of a disabled daughter seek a guardianship for her, to help loved ones with the painful process of probate, and to help give many parents peace of mind by helping them with their estate planning and designation of guardians for their minor children. I was also contacted by many adult children whose parents had already done estate planning, but needed updated powers of attorney or advance medical directives.

2011 also brought happiness in my personal life – we welcomed our third daughter, Natalie Elizabeth White, into our family on November 21. She was a whopping 9 lbs. 15 ounces and is a joy to have around.

I’m looking forward to see what 2012 has in store!

When Prince Harry turned 25 earlier this month, he became entitled to a share of Princess Diana’s estate. She left an estate of 21 million pounds and paid an estate tax of 8 million pounds. The remaining 13 million was split equally between William and Harry and placed into trust.

Before the age of 25, the princes could receive income from the trust at the trustee’s discretion. Upon turning 25, each prince is entitled to all the income from the trust. At age 30, each prince can demand his share of the trust in full.

Diana’s estate consisted of stocks, jewelry, a divorce settlement, dresses and personal items. Click here to read more.