Please Note: The information on this page is provided as a guide and aid to parties filing matters in the Probate Court. This information is not a substitute for competent legal advice and does not itself constitute legal advice to any party. Every petitioner is responsible for ensuring that the petition or filing made is compliant with the law and rules pertaining thereto.

This Court currently uses a case management system that permits access to publicly available court records online. You can access these records at the following link:

Georgia Probate Records

The Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia has adopted Uniform Rules applicable in the Probate Court. You can access these rules at the following link:

Uniform Probate Court Rules 


The Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia have adopted standardized pleadings for many of the most common petitions and other filings made in the Probate Court. These standard forms are available from the Council’s website located at the following link:

Standard Forms

This Court requires the use of the standard forms available at the above link. However, this Court DOES NOT generally require the filing party to prepare the notices, orders, or letters that are part of the standard forms. You can save yourself filing fee costs by not including these portions of the standard forms with your filed pleadings.

This Court DOES require the filing party to prepare the following:

  • Petitions for Year’s Support – When real property is to be awarded, the filing party is responsible for preparing the “Certificate of Order for Year’s Support” which is pages 9 – 11 of the standard form, GPCSF 10.
  • Notice by Publication – Where a filing party is required or permitted to give notice by publication, the filing party is responsible for preparing the notice to be published in the official organ of the county, which is the Savannah Morning News.
  • Petition for Order Declaring No Administration Necessary – The filing party is responsible for preparing the Final Order containing the full legal description of property.

If an attorney does not utilize the standard form which has been adopted for a regular Probate Court filing, then the Court requires a certificate to be filed with the pleading, in accordance with Uniform Probate Court Rule 5.9(D), which certifies that the pleading conforms to the standard form. This certification can be found at the link provided above for standard forms and is part of the Georgia Probate Court Standard Form 70.

Some helpful non-standard forms are available under the Forms tab of the Probate Court webpage.

At the time of filing, all petitions, motions, or other pleadings must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee in the exact amount. This Court has prepared Fee Calculation Charts to assist filing parties in determining the cost of filing a pleading. A Fee Calculation Chart has been prepared for most standard filings made in the Probate Court in both estate and guardianship/conservatorship matters. You can access these helpful charts under the Forms tab of the Probate Court webpage. You will also find more detailed information regarding the type of payment permitted and any fees associated with the payment types.

If you have a question regarding the fee for a particular filing or need any assistance from Court staff in determining the appropriate fee, please contact Court staff.

                For estates, contact (912) 652-7264 (Option 4).

                For guardianships and conservatorships, contact (912) 652-7264 (Option 5).

Most petition filings in the Probate Court require the service of notice to heirs, beneficiaries, or other interested parties. At the time of filing, the selected manner of service must be alleged in the petition or otherwise made clear by the filer and related service fees must be included with the filing. At the link below, you can find information regarding the types of service available and the associated fees.

              Methods of Service and Associated Fees.pdf


What if you do not have current contact information for a known heir?

The Probate Court subscribes to a background searching service called TLO/Transunion Database. Court staff can research the current contact information for heirs or beneficiaries if the requesting party provides sufficient information to make a meaningful search. This service can be requested by submitting the below form to Records Room staff by mail, Court drop-box located at the Court’s entry, or by scheduling an appointment. This service costs $10.00 per person searched.

              Heir or Beneficiary Research Request.pdf


How can you check to determine whether service has been completed?

  • In estate matters, you can monitor the completion of service for a particular pleading by accessing the court records at Georgia Probate Records.
  • If the Clerk’s office receives a return receipt or sheriff’s return reflecting that the attempted service failed, a Deputy Clerk will typically give notice to the filing party by email of the failed service attempt. The filing party is then responsible for determining how next to attempt service.
  • You may also contact Court staff at (912) 652-7264, (Option 4 – for estates) and (Option 5 – for guardianships and conservatorships).


What are other options when mailed service of notice fails?

  • If the address for the person to be served is correct, but the return receipt from attempted certified mail service does not reflect proper service, you can request Sheriff’s service or the appointment of a private process server.
  • If you suspect the address you have provided for a person to be served is not correct, you can request an heir or beneficiary research request through the Records Room staff, as outlined above.
  • If all attempts at locating an individual have failed, you can request that the Court permit service of notice by publication by filing an Affidavit of Diligent Search to support your request. Although the following template is not required, it may be used by a filing party to seek the Court’s approval of service by publication.

            Affidavit of Diligent Search.pdf

    Affidavit of Diligent Search.docx


How do I request service by a private process server?

When a party elects to use a private process server to complete any needed service on an interested party in Probate Court proceedings, the judge must approve the proposed process server. If this has not been requested in the initial petition filing, then the party should file a motion with appropriate fees to appoint the process server including the following information along with any other relevant information the party believes the court should know:

  1. The name, address, and contact information of the process server along with sufficient information for the Court to determine the person is eligible and appropriate to serve process. Any private process servers who are approved in Chatham County Superior and/or State Courts will be approved. Therefore, alleging this information, if applicable, is sufficient.
  2. The name and address of the interested party or parties who should receive service and notice.
  3. What petition/pleading(s) should be served.

Upon approval, the Court will issue an order appointing the designated process server which order will incorporate a list of the required documents to be served. The party requesting service will then provide the required copies of documents from the list to the approved process server for service. The court’s order will also require a return filed by the process server which may be in the form of Georgia Probate Court Standard Form Supplement 2, which is available above at the Standard Forms link.

When a filing party is required or permitted to serve notice by publication, the Probate Court of Chatham County requires the filing party to prepare the notice and submit it directly to the publisher with the appropriate fee. The Savannah Morning News is the publisher for legal notices for the Chatham County Probate Court. 

There are two exceptions to this procedure, wherein Probate Court staff will provide the legal ad to the publisher. These exceptions are: (1) Petition for Year’s Support (GPCSF 10), and (2) Petition for Declaration of Death (GPCSF 18). The following documents provide additional information regarding service of notice by publication, including the appropriate contacts at the publisher, costs, the schedule for publishing, etc.

The following legal ad schedules have been prepared by Probate Court staff to assist in the publication of notices.

The following form templates can be used by a filing party who is permitted to serve notice by publication: