Notice must be given to all the heirs at law of the decedent.
If any heirs are Georgia residents, then they must be personally served by the sheriff's office of the county in which they reside. The petitioner may, however, ask the court in the petition to serve the heirs by certified mail, restricted delivery to addressee only, in lieu of sheriff's service.
Alternatively, the heirs may waive formal service and notice by filing a written and notarized Acknowledgment of Service (p.7 on Standard Form #5). This method is much less expensive than having a deputy sheriff deliver the notice personally and somewhat less expensive than certified mail costs.
Heirs living outside of the state must be served by the Probate Court by certified mail unless they have signed an acknowledgment of service which is duly notarized.
Additional fees will apply and be due at the time of filing the petition for all service by certified mail.
Notice must be published in the county newspaper if the identities or addresses of any heirs are not known. A separate payment for this publication will be due at the time you take the publication to the Time-Georgian Newspaper Office. The Probate Court is not responsible for the publishing of legal notices.