First things first, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident take precautionary safety measures by putting on your hazard lights. If you are able to, move to the side of the road or a sidewalk. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself and others to safety.

Once it is safe and you are able to do so, make sure you and any passengers in your vehicle are not seriously injured. Confirm with the other driver(s) that the occupants in the vehicle(s) are not seriously injured either. If anyone is hurt, call 911 for emergency services or ask someone else to call.

ALWAYS call the police to make a report. This becomes important to properly document the incident and gather all the information needed in order to make a claim with the insurance company.

ALWAYS be sure to note the responding police department jurisdiction and the officer’s name so that you are able to obtain a report later on. It is also a good idea to personally exchange information such as contact information, license plate numbers, make/model of vehicle, and insurance policy numbers of all the involved vehicles. If there are any witnesses, gather their contact information as well.

ALWAYS take pictures of all the vehicles involved even if the damage is minor. You may also want to consider taking a video at the scene of the accident as this can be helpful to document road conditions, weather, and traffic control devices (i.e. stop signs or lights).

If you are injured, call a trusted attorney who will guide you through the process and help you recover what you deserve. At Georgia Legal Counsel, we pursue all available avenues for compensation and ensure that you get the medical care you truly need.  Don’t’ fight the insurance companies alone, have Georgia Legal Counsel by your side!


In order for a Will, also known as a Will & Testament, to be valid in the state of Georgia the testator must be fourteen (14) years or older and competent to create a Will, the Will must be in writing, signed by the testator, and signed by two witnesses.

Let us break down these five requirements further… shall we?

(1) The testator must be fourteen years or older.

The first requirement is pretty straight forward – the testator, aka the person creating the Will, needs to be at least 14 years or older (O.C.G.A. § 53-4-10). For many states, the legal age limit is 18, but Georgia allows individuals to create a valid Will at the age of 14.

(2)The testator must be competent to create a Will.

In Georgia, the testator must have something called “testamentary capacity,” which is a fancy legal term meaning the testator is able to rationally decide as to the disposition of his or her property (O.C.G.A. § 53-4-11) and the testator must be freely and voluntarily making those decisions (O.C.G.A. § 53-4-12).

The testator must have the mental ability to fully realize the consequences of what he or she is doing when making the Will and must understand the decisions that are being made. If the testator’s mental capacity is at question at the time of creating and signing the Will, then this may be grounds to contest the Will.

The testator must execute his or her Will freely and voluntarily. He or she may not be influenced or under any type of duress by outside parties in creating the Will (O.C.G.A. § 53-4-12).

(3) The Will must be in writing.  

The Will must be in writing – either typed or handwritten is sufficient, however I would suggest the Will to be typed if possible to make it more legible. Oral wills, or wills recorded by audio or video, are not valid in Georgia.

(4) The testator must sign the Will.

Georgia law requires the testator to sign his or her Will in order for it to be valid (O.C.G.A. § 53-4-20). The signature should appear at the end of the document with his or her name, by official mark or sign that is meant to authenticate the document. If a person is physically unable to sign the Will, then another individual may sign on behalf of the testator in the testator’s presence and at the express direction of the testator.

(5)The Will must be signed by two witnesses.

This last requirement is where people tend to make the most common mistakes. The Will & Testament must be signed by two competent witnesses who have personally witnessed the testator signing the document for it to be valid. The witnesses should be disinterested parties, meaning he or she is not a beneficiary of the Will and does not receive any portion of the estate or property.


One of the most common disputes that arise when contesting a Will is that the Will is not valid. Wills can be shown to be invalid for several reasons such as improper witnessing, missing pages, the testator lacked testamentary capacity at the time of executing the will, or hand-written changes to will (any changes must be properly witnessed in the same way).  If the court deems the Will to be invalid, then the testator’s property will be distributed according to the Georgia laws of intestate succession.


If you are considering creating a Will & Testament, simply updating a current Will & Testament, or have any questions regarding the estate planning process, feel free to give us a call at 770-826-4283 or e-mail at k.taylor@georgialegalcounsel.com to schedule your consultation.



According to a 2021 Caring.com survey, only one-third (33%) of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust. 
With many unknown factors in life, especially with the shocking outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, estate planning is important because you can never know what the future may bring.

Here’s a few (but not all) reasons why it’s essential to have a Will & Testament:

1. Decide who gets your assets/ property – and who does not.
You worked hard to earn a decent living and obtain the assets you have acquired throughout your life, right? Then you should get to decide who gets your assets and property – and who does not. You are able to name people as beneficiaries for specific assets. For example, if you promised a family member will inherit a specific family heirloom then you can ensure that person receives it.

2. Choose who will take care of your minor children.
If you are a parent, you are able to choose who will take care of your minor children in the event that you pass away. Generally, the surviving parent gets sole custody if one parent dies. However, it Is important to have a Will & Testament in the unfortunate event that both parents pass. The guardian you choose will be responsible for the well-being of your child(ren), including housing, health care, food, clothing, and education. If you do not nominate a guardian in your Will & Testament, then the court will decide for you and this potentially means someone you would not have chosen will be raising your kids.

3. Make the probate process easier on your loved ones by reducing stress, saving time & money
Probate is the legal process of overseeing the distribution of assets from an estate. Majority of estates have to go to probate court to start this legal process. This process is much easier when there is a valid Will & Testament since you have already chosen the person you want to handle the distribution of the estate and decided who gets your assets and property. If there is no Will, then the court has to name a personal representative to administer the estate which can be time-consuming, expensive, and potentially cause family disputes.

4. Provide instructions for your funeral.
While it may be uncomfortable to think about your own funeral, it is best to leave instructions in your Will & Testament. By doing this it eliminates the guesswork for your family. You can include details whether you would like to be cremated or buried, location for the service, and more. Life can be difficult after a family member has passed… wouldn’t you want to make things easier for your loved ones?

5. Gain peace of mind.
People tend to put off creating his or her estate planning because many assume that their loved ones will automatically inherit the assets and property. This assumption is simply not true in most cases. When you create a Will, you are essentially leaving your loved ones a roadmap of how you want things to be handled after your passing. Your family will not have to guess what your final wishes were and allows your loved ones to focus more on supporting each other during the grieving period.

Creating a Will & Testament is easy. If you are interested in estate planning, you should always hire a trusted attorney to draft these documents (as we will cover in another article What Makes a Will Valid and Common Mistakes People Make When Creating a Will). Contact Georgia Legal Counsel to get the process started TODAY so that you can gain a peace of mind for you and your family members!