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Baldwin County Probate Lawyer

If a loved one of yours passed away recently, you might be concerned about how their inheritance will be distributed. The allocation of theorems in their estate will be handled through the probate procedure, but if you reside in Alabama, you must be aware of how it operates. Every state has different laws with criteria and timeframes. For the procedure to be successfully performed, you must adhere to certain limits.

In Alabama, estates go through the probate process to wind down the estate and transfer the title of the property to the heirs. At The Law Office of Brenton C. McWilliams, a Baldwin County probate lawyer can help you through this process.

The Probate Process In Alabama

Whether your loved one had a will or not, we at The Law Office of Brenton C. McWilliams can help with probating a will, drafting and submitting the necessary paperwork to the Court, managing estate assets, selling property, and any other issues that may arise in relation to your loved one’s estate. The process will differ depending on whether there was a valid will.

Probate When There Is A Will

Within five (5) years after the testator’s passing, a will must be submitted for probate per Alabama Code 43-8-161. Some families don’t even know where the will is being kept, so time may run very quickly. The process of probate itself can be long and arduous. Don’t worry; we are here to help. A Baldwin County probate lawyer The Law Office of Brenton C. McWilliams will make the process as seamless as possible.

  • In the county where the deceased resided, the will is submitted to the probate court.
  • An executor cannot simply begin to divide the estate. In order for the appointed executor to act on behalf of the estate, the court names the executor and issues letters testamentary.
  • To inform creditors and heirs, the executor posts a notice of the estate in the newspaper. The probate process is not a private one. If you take issue with your information being made public, consider asking your Baldwin County probate lawyer placing certain assets in trust.
  • It is necessary to inventory the estate and have real estate and other valuable assets appraised. Some assets may be worth less than you think when you find out the value of the liens.
  • The executor is in charge of paying the estate’s debts and filing taxes.
  • The executor may distribute the remaining assets and request that probate be closed once all obligations have been settled.

We can offer Legal representation in the courtroom if things get contentious. This Baldwin County Probate Lawyer does not shy away from litgation.

Ask Your Baldwin County Probate Lawyer About The Intestate Probate Process

A person who dies without putting a will in place is said to have died intestate. Partial intestacy can also happen when a person makes a will, but it does not completely distribute all of their assets.

When there was no will pertaining to certain assets left by the deceased person, the procedure is started by submitting a petition for letters of administration. This petition includes information like the decedent’s name, date of death, county of death, name of surviving spouse (if any), and names of next of kin. Per ALA. CODE § 43-2-45, letters of administration are not admissible until five (5) days have passed since the decedent’s death.

The petition for letters of administration should be filed together with a copy of the decedent’s original death certificate and an administrator’s bond. After receiving and reviewing the necessary paperwork, the probate court will issue an important document called the “Letters of Administration” to the petitioner listed in the petition. This person will be responsible for distributing the estate. This can be a tedious process. It is best handled by an experienced Baldwin County Probate Lawyer.

Contact A Baldwin County Probate Lawyer To Avoid The Consequences Of Intestacy

Without a will to designate your wishes, you submit the distribution of your estate to the rules of intestacy as laid out in Alabama Code 2009 Section 43-8-40 . The Intestate Succession rules split and transfer your property through your nearest living relatives, starting with your immediate family and continuing with your surviving parents and siblings.

  • Your children will receive your full estate if you are the lone parent.
  •  Your spouse will receive your whole estate if you don’t have children.
  • If you have a spouse and you have biological children, the first $50,000 of the intestate property and half of the property will then go to your spouse. The remaining intestate property will be given to your children.
  • Intestate assets are divided equally between your spouse and any children you have who are not biologically related to your spouse.
  • If you have both parents and a spouse, your parents will receive the remaining intestate property, while your spouse will receive the first $100,000 of your estate’s assets.
  • If your parents are the only ones still alive, they will receive all of your estate’s assets.
  • If you are the sole survivor of your immediate family, your siblings will get 100% of your fortune.

Your Baldwin County Probate Lawyer should be well-versed in probate law. Since we are, we can give you a sense of what an estate distribution may look like without a valid will in place.

A Baldwin County Probate Lawyer Skilled In Estate Planning 

Depending on each unique estate plan, you will need assistance with other vehicles for estate planning. They may include creating any of the following:

Whatever the need, the Law Offices of Brenton C. McWilliams is your one-stop shop.

Contact Experienced Baldwin County Probate Lawyers

If you need help with probate and estate administration, a probate attorney at The Law Offices of Brenton C. McWilliams can help. Probate lawyers at our firm have detailed knowledge of this complex legal area and can help you with all aspects of the estate administration process.

To get a probate lawyer working on your side, schedule a consultation with  our office today.

Probate Law FAQs

How can you avoid probate in Alabama?
Probate can take at least six months. The process may last longer if there are legal challenges. That’s why it’s best to avoid the probate process if at all possible. To do that, you’ll need to know probate and estate administration, which includes putting a solid estate plan in place that utilizes trust to transfer assets after your death outside of probate.

Do I need an attorney for probate?
While there is no legal requirement to have a probate lawyer represent you through the probate process, hiring an experienced attorney can help facilitate a smoother process for you and your loved ones. Although legal representation is optional, it’s highly recommended.