Notice must be given to all the heirs at law of the decedent. If any heirs are Georgia residents, they must be personally served by the sheriff's office of the county in which they reside, unless the petitioner asks the court in the written petition to serve the heirs by certified mail in lieu of personal service.
Alternatively, the heirs may waive formal service and notice by filing a written and notarized Acknowledgment of Service (page 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 of filing the petition, payable to the newspaper.