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Questions Answered by Jack T. Carney

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: My widowed Mother passed away in Alabama and left 135 acres of land without a wiIl. It's still in her name.

It was understood from my Mother that it would be divided equally between us upon her death, but she did not put that in a will. There were 5 adult children when she died in 2009. My brother passed away in Dec. 2018. He leaves a wife and 3 adult children.

When the land is surveyed and... Read more »

Jack T. Carney answered on May 16, 2019

When someone dies without a Will, assets in their name pass to their "heirs at law." The heirs at law are determined at the time of death. Further, real property (land) vests in the heirs after two years. In your hypothetical I would suggest that the property will pass in 5 shares. The share of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: In the state of Alabama if a person dies intestate and owns a home that is paid for, has one living son and one deceased

son who had a daughter does the living son inherit the home?

Jack T. Carney answered on Apr 3, 2019

If a person dies intestate, that is without a Last Will and Testament, then the assets in the person's sole name pass to the "heirs at law" of that person. Assuming there is no spouse, the heirs at law are the children. If there is a deceased child, the children of that deceased child inherit the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: I have been living with a man for almost 2 years. We are not married. We just bought a house but I am not on the deed or

Mortgage. What will happen if he dies? Do I have any rights? I help make the mortgage pmts.

Jack T. Carney answered on Mar 18, 2019

Your interest in the home may be at risk if he predeceases you. Further, Alabama law recently abolished common law marriage, so you would not have the protection of a spouse even if you hold yourself out as husband and wife. It would be best for you to protect your interest in the home,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on

Q: In Alabama, if a widow with no children inherited all of her late husband’s property and she dies without a will, who

inherits her property.

Jack T. Carney answered on Feb 7, 2019

Alabama law provides for the disposition of an individual's property if that individual dies without a Will. It is called "intestate succession." There is a specific statute that directs the disposition of property when one dies without a Will and a spouse. I pasted a copy of it below.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Alabama on

Q: A car dealership sold my friends father with dementia who is not of a sound mind a $20,000 truck for $46,000

Her father turned in his BMW as a trade in as well. Her father is not of sound mind and the dealership will not allow them to return the truck and refuses to give their money back. They tacked on an extended warranty even though it came with a warranty because it was brand new.

Jack T. Carney answered on Jan 21, 2019

You can certainly consult with an attorney about various civil remedies, however, there are various new "elder abuse" statutes on the books in Alabama and some may apply to this situation. It is a crime to take advantage of an elderly, incapacitated individual. Your friend may want to file a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Alabama on

Q: ? my sister abuses my mother I watched her slap my mother four times yesterday on her birthday she 72 then I got involve

Jack T. Carney answered on Jan 14, 2019

I am not sure if you have a specific question, but when there are incidents of physical, emotional or financial abuse of seniors (or any adult for that matter), there are resources for assistance. The first is law enforcement and if you witness physical abuse, you can call the police and file a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: I am the executor of my mother's will. I am in the process of having it probated (waiting on 1 waiver)

My sister (the waiver I'm waiting on) has closed my mother's bank accounts. Sister is on the accounts but the funds are my mothers and were to be distributed according to the will. What is my legal standing?

Jack T. Carney answered on Nov 26, 2018

The answer to your question depends on the particular facts of your situation. The issue will be whether those accounts became assets of the estate or assets of your sister at your mother's death. As Executor you will have the power and maybe even the obligation to research that issue and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: dad died. Had will with children equal beneficiaries. Recently married. No mention her in will. How is property divided?

Children are adult children from previous marriage. Current wife was never mentioned in will. Can’t find a definitive answer. One place I read wife gets first $37,000 plus half. Other place says she gets 1/3 or equal share of children.

Jack T. Carney answered on Oct 30, 2018

As mentioned below, the specific facts of the situation are so important in determining the various rights and responsibilities of the parties. For example, it may be possible the wife could claim to be an omitted spouse (see statute below), which is where the 1/2 comes from (if she is deemed an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Alabama on

Q: Can my parents transfer ownership of their home to me remain in the home and still qualify for Medicaid in 5 years

We are in Alabama

Jack T. Carney answered on Sep 24, 2018

Your question is a common one, but unfortunately it is not simple. First, it would be worth the time, effort and expense to consult with a legal or financial advisor about this decision and how it specifically affects your parents. It could have unintended consequences and ramifications extending... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: My husband has a house in his name only that he purchased before were married.

His adult daughter is his beneficiary & inherits the house if he were to pass away. Since this is my home but my name is not on the mortgage or the deed, am I entitled to inherit the home before she were to inherit it?

Jack T. Carney answered on Sep 3, 2018

You would be entitled to inherit the house if your husband designated you as the beneficiary in his valid Last Will and Testament (or added you to the deed). If he died without a Will, then Alabama law directs that one-half of the assets in his name pass to his spouse and one-half pass to his... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Landlord - Tenant for Alabama on

Q: My husband and his late deceased wife were on the deed to house, we are attempting to sell, why can’t we?

They are telling us that because they were married and jointly on the deed that her children have to sign the deed stating the house goes back to my husband who is the original owner of the home before she ever came along, he added her to the deed later. Why are we unable to sell the house without... Read more »

Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 28, 2018

This issue arises a lot and is usually caught by a title company when someone tries to sell a home. I cannot speak to your specific situation without seeing the deeds, but it sounds like what you are hearing is correct (even though I admit it seems terribly unfair).

When your husband...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on

Q: Can the witnesses of the will be girlfriend and mother

Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 18, 2018

In Alabama a witness to a Will may be a relative or beneficiary under the Will. The applicable law is found at Ala. Code section 43-8-134, which states:

(a) Any person generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will.

(b) A will or any provision thereof is not...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on

Q: my mother died in the state of Alabama there is no will and I live in another state what do I do

there is me the oldest and my sister

Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 8, 2018

Oftentimes the first step in determining what to do next after a loved one passes away is to look at any assets that may be in that person's name. If you are unable to access any assets, then you would need to speak with an attorney about a probate administration or a probate alternative. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Alabama on

Q: What are the range of legal fees to have an Alabama "Survivorship Deed and Will processed legally?

Are there any pro bono or financial assistance in Alabama to have these documents processed legally?

Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 7, 2018

An attorney cannot really provide a fee range until learning a lot more about the situation. Most attorneys would bill hourly for their work, which is a pretty fair method for all parties. It can be difficult to obtain pro bono assistance for estate matters (as there are assets), but if your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on

Q: Dose properly in a father's name go to his children?

He left a will giving everything to a care taker

The property is in his name only

Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 5, 2018

If assets are in an individual’s sole name and that individual leaves a valid Last Will and Testament, then the assets pass pursuant to that Last Will and Testament. The key here is “valid.” The Will must be offered for probate and proved to be the Last Will. The children (as the heirs at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on

Q: My Aunt passed away 3 days before signing her will to leave everything to me her niece. Next of kin is her brother.

When we went to court my dad, next of kin said under oath he knew my Aunt was leaving everything to me, the niece. Then he went and hired an attorney to fight the estate and take it all since he is next of kin. Is there any case file examples showing where this is can be over turned since he... Read more »

Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 2, 2018

I am not quite sure I understand the exact specifics of your situation, but if you have a valid Last Will and Testament that names you as the beneficiary of an estate, then it really does not matter what any one says about it, you would be the beneficiary. However, the Will must be "proved" to be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: If you remarry in Alabama who do you leave your house to? Your new spouse or your kids from a previous marriage?

Jack T. Carney answered on Jul 24, 2018

The basic answer is that a person may leave their home to the beneficiary of their choice, be it a new spouse or children from a previous marriage. However, when a person remarries and does not have a prenuptial agreement, the surviving spouse will have certain rights in the estate of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on

Q: mother passed: house w/ mortgage, land, CD's a insurance policies no beneficiary. no will, do I petition probate?

I have 3 siblings. Do we need to petition probate? We just want names added to deeds joint tenancy, and everything in equal shares: life insurance payouts, cd's, property ownership etc.

Jack T. Carney answered on Jul 18, 2018

I cannot speak to your specific situation without reviewing the deed, account information, etc. In general when a person dies and their name is the only name on an asset (such as the deed or a CD) and further where there is no beneficiary named, then a probate is required in order to transfer... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: My mother is in Alabama and in poor health, she has a will leaving all property to me

Her new husband is not in the will or on the deed. They’ve been married 18 years. Who gets possession of her house after her death? She has also been a victim of elder abuse by her husband for at least the last year.

Jack T. Carney answered on Jul 7, 2018

There are so many new “elder abuse” laws on the books these days. If there is elder abuse, DHR or the local authorities could be helpful and you may want to contact them to discuss your options.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on

Q: Do I need an attorney to file for my decease mother property I am the 6th child who paid the property in full

My mother passed away in 1979.My eldest brother who was my caregiver and his family moved into the house after my mother passed years later they moved out because of the 5th child.I learned the house was in foreclosure when I started to move in months later after I finished school and turned 18.As... Read more »

Jack T. Carney answered on Jun 22, 2018

I would recommend that you speak with an attorney to protect your interest in the property. The specific facts will be important in your case (and many of them happened so long ago). Someone will need to review them closely and only then will be able to advise you as to how to protect your... Read more »

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