Georgia Probate courts exercise exclusive, original jurisdiction regarding the probate of wills, administration of estates, appointment of guardians (of minors and adults) and involuntary hospitalization of incapacitated adults and other individuals. Probate court judges administer oaths of office and issue marriage licenses. Additionally Probate Court Judges must keep regular minutes of each session of the court (4 regular terms lasting 3 months each) and keep all records that the business of the probate court may require. The records must be properly indexed, permanently housed, kept in an economical manner and must be accessible to the public. Many of the earliest records of the county are housed in the probate court vault. The probate court can also store the wills of living persons in the vault for safekeeping.
In Candler County, the Probate court judge also serves as the local custodian of vital records including records of births and deaths. It is the job of the custodian to keep the records safe, secure and accessible within the law. Additionally, the Probate court may issue gun permits, fireworks licenses, certificates of residency, and a variety of other functions. The Probate Judge may be available to perform marriage ceremonies upon properly scheduled advance appointments, as his schedule permits.
The history of the Probate Court (first called Court of Ordinary) dates to the early Constitution of the state and deals with the issue of passing property and belongings of the deceased to the living. The word "probate" derives from the Latin term "probatio" and refers to the court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid. Your Probate Judge Tony Thompson and his staff take the Court's role in the Judicial system seriously and will do their best to serve Candler County with courtesy, integrity, and responsibility.