IMPORTANT PROBATE OFFICE NOTICE
For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 20, 2023
DOUGLAS COUNTY SENTINEL TO RAISE PUBLICATION RATES WITHOUT NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
As you all know, the Douglas County Sentinel, is the legal organ for Douglas County. If you have any legal publications that need to be published, it is published in the Sentinel. There was recent legislation, HB254, that allows the legal organ to change the rates to no more than $15 per 100 words. The Sentinel has chosen to increase its rates to the maximum rate of $15 per 100 words but refuses to publish this information to the public of this rate increase. What was published was what the new law allows- “up to $15 per 100 words.” Judge Peterson had extensive email exchanges with Sentinel and they advised that they WOULD NOT notify the public of their rate increase to the maximum charge of $15 because “there is no notice requirement in the new statute.” It is imperative that the public knows this rate change is outside of the control of the Probate Court.
Probate petitions are very pricey as the fees are set by statute. With Sentinel’s new rate change, publication fees for estate cases will be increased from $132 to $192 (a $60 increase). In order to relieve this increased inconvenience and burden on the citizens of Douglas County, Judge Peterson has edited all Probate publication notices to reduce the word count so citizens will not really be affected by the increased rate. Therefore, most notices for publications will remain the same price and some will be lower, including the publication listed above that will remain at $132. There are only a few publications that will be increased by $20 in which there was no remedy due to $15 being the set rate and the ad was less than 100 words, such as the Notice to Debtors and Creditors. It is discouraging that the Sentinel chooses not to be transparent about their operations and rate increase by publishing a sufficient public notice but as always, we are here to serve you and make the probate process less of a burden. We look forward to continuing serving you.
THE PROBATE OFFICE WILL BE OPEN THE FOLLOWING SATURDAYS FROM 9:00A-3:00P FOR ALL PROBATE SERVICES:
OCTOBER 7, 2023
APRIL 6, 2024
AUGUST 3, 2024
DECEMBER 7, 2024
Probate Public Records are now available online:
BEGINNING JUNE 14, 2021, THE PROBATE OFFICE WILL BE OFFERING EXTENDED HOURS FOR WEAPON'S CARRY LICENSE APPLICATIONS FROM 8 AM-4:30 PM MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.
You may now apply for Weapons Carry and Marriage Licenses Online.
Douglas County Probate Court establishes the validity of wills, documents the administration of estates, appoints a guardian when none has been established, maintains vital records such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates, and issues gun permits.
The forms for Temporary Guardianship are not complete in that the local Probate Court office has additional forms that are required. Please see the form provided on this page or you may pick up the complete package in the Probate Court Office.
All forms must be completed, including necessary signatures and attachments, before this office will accept for filing.
If you are filing any pleadings or petitions in Probate Court, you may find some COMMON FORMS here. We now have a Petition Fee Calculator to assist you in determining the fees to file your pleadings or petitions.
- Estate Records
- Estate Filings
- Guardianship Filing
- Creditors' Claims Against an Estate
- Georgia Weapons Carry License
For $15, you may file your will with the Probate Court for safekeeping. Only you, (or in the case of your death, your executor), will be able to access this document. See the Georgia Probate Court Information System for more information.
The Probate Court office in the Douglas County Courthouse maintains estate files back to the late 1800s. Name indexes to facilitate retrieval. The public may access such records from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday.
Petitions to Probate Estates may be filed between 8 am and 4:30 pm. The Probate Court will accept a personal check with the petition.
Petition for Guardianship of a minor can be filed between 8 am and 4:15 pm. The Probate Court accepts cash only with this Petition.
If you are inquiring about an estate, please provide us with the name of the deceased and the approximate date of death or the Probate Court case number (in writing). A research fee of $10 (non-refundable) per name is required to process your inquiry. If you wish to file a formal claim against an estate, costs are $10 plus $2 per page for recording.
Georgia Weapons Carry License
In office applications are done Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm
Required documents are: current ID, Proof of citizenship, if born outside the US, and $78.25 cash (exact change) or card for new applications and $35.00 for renewals. Afterwards, you will have to be fingerprinted. The Probate Office is now live with in-office fingerprinting.
Beginning June 14, in office applications will be processed Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30p. It is highly preferred that you apply online before coming into the office at Online Weapon's Carry Application.
Renewals and new applicants may apply online or in person in the Douglas County Probate Office. Picture will be taken the same day that paperwork is submitted. Payment methods are Cash & Card. Fingerprints are now done in our office.
First Time Permits
For first time permits, it is highly preferred that you apply online first. Then you will receive your confirmation and come into the office for pictures, payment, and signature for the new permits (no appointment needed).