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Questions Answered by Jack T. Carney
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
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
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
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
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
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: If my spouse removes me as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy, will I be notified? I'm in the state of Alabama
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Jun 13, 2018

There are a lot of facts that would be important to have before someone can give you a specific answer (such as: are you going through a divorce, is there any legal requirement that your spouse name you as a beneficiary, etc). Generally speaking however, I cannot think of any mechanism whereby a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on
Q: AL deceased person. Sole owner of house. House in probate now. House is up for sale. What steps to take to sell?

We know money from sale will go into probate instead of to us. Just want to make sure we take the right steps to do it right from the start..if the house sells before the 6 mth probate period is over.

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Jun 2, 2018

If the probate estate is open I would assume you have an attorney and I would encourage you to take direction regarding the sale from him or her. The answers to questions in this area of law are often very fact specific (so much depends on the exact facts of your particular case).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Alabama on
Q: If me and my siblings use some of mom's money and then she's goes to nursing home will we have to pay money back?

I'm power of attorney had to move money into my name due to grandson stealing.

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Jun 2, 2018

If your mother needs to qualify for Medicaid (assuming she does not have the resources to pay for nursing home care), then you would need to repay the funds if she needs to qualify for Medicaid. It’s all related to the Medicaid “transfer penalty.”

The penalty basically works as...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Probate for Alabama on
Q: What is the waiting period for a deceased persons bank funds to be released to the heir in AL with affidavit of heirship

Filed affidavit of heirship notarized with death certificate with the bank and they say they're holding for 60 days... Doesn't seem correct... What is the current waiting period in Alabama?

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on May 25, 2018

It is actually 60 days. The affidavit for small accounts is governed by the banking code. The relevant section is below:

“Section 5-5A-39

Disposition of small deposits of deceased person - Time for payment; when payment prohibited.

No payment shall be made pursuant to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on
Q: If when a male person dies and leaves no wife, children, property, or assets, must there be a probate by Alabama law?

My brother died in that condition, and no probate was ever executed.

He died in 1997 is it necessary now and what code of law covers this situation?

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on May 10, 2018

There is no law requiring a probate and as a practical matter I always tell people that you should open a probate estate only if there is a reason to do so. I cannot speak to any reason in your case, as it is dependent on the facts. However, two examples of why one would open an estate would be:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: I’m executive of moms will. She lives in Missouri and I live in Alabama. I need to know what’s involved?

I have to siblings and mom is in debt.

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on May 8, 2018

I cannot tell by your question whether your mother is still alive, but will assume that she is as she "lives in Missouri." The good news is that nothing is required of you until your mother's death. A Last Will and Testament has no legal significance until death. Even at that time, it must be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Alabama on
Q: Is it neglect if they if a elderly person falls eight times in a month and they don't take her to the doctor
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on May 4, 2018

Cases of neglect are incredibly fact specific and there is no bright-line test as to what constitutes neglect. Speaking generally, if someone is concerned that an elderly adult is being neglected, there are three basic options:

1. Contact local law enforcement. There are several new...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Alabama on
Q: hello, my mom died, and I would like to know who inherits, in the case of not having a will. Thank you. She was from AL
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Apr 16, 2018

I am sorry about your family's loss. Alabama directs where assets pass in the event someone dies without a Will. The assets pass to an individual's next-of-kin under Alabama law. The next-of-kin depends on the particular facts of the family:

-Passes to spouse and children first...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: If my estranged mom dies people do not have a way to notify me. What happens. Is there a way to find out if she has wil

She left my dad when I was young due to abuse I was removed at 16 due to abuse from him. I was reunited through dhr placed with her only to be abused by her. Now I'm 40 haven't heard from her since then. Someone told me I being the only person left (as her family abandoned her long time ago.) That... Read more »

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Apr 10, 2018

I am sorry about your difficult past and situation. If you are still her legal heir (next of kin) and assuming those rights have not been severed, then you would legally be entitled to notice of any Will filing. If she dies without a Will, you may be entitled to all or a portion of her estate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Do multiple wills follow a progression of how they passed away or include into the last one?

My Wife lost her grandmother, mother, and father in a matter of days of each other. Her Brother is an attorney,executor, and a beneficiary but won't share any details of the wills and is trying to convince her that none of the wills matter even if she is named specifically in one and that only the... Read more »

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Apr 10, 2018

I would recommend she consult with an attorney regarding her rights in any/all of the estates. If you see an attorney, I recommend you create a time line and gather copies of any documents that you do have in your possession. It would be difficult to provide advice without more information.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Does my 401k automatically belong 100% to my surviving spouse - even if I state in my will that my daughter gets part?

I have been told that all of my assets, bank accounts, and 401k account belong to my wife regardless of my directions in my will should I die first. If this is correct then there is no point of having a will if it all goes to her. Is this correct?

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Apr 10, 2018

Your understanding is not exactly correct. Further, the rules depend on the specific asset and how it is titled. Details are important and no one can adequately address them in a general forum such as this one. However, I believe I can share some general information that may be helpful.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Probate and Small Claims for Alabama on
Q: if my uncle signed everything into his girlfriend's name then dies the next day is she still entitled to the estate
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Apr 2, 2018

I can provide a general answer, but you may need to speak to legal counsel who can provide you with specific recommendations and advice, which would require an attorney to closely review all of the facts. For example, "signed everything into" could mean a transfer, a payable on death designation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: How can I change an irrevocable trust, or do I have any chance in this matter?

My grandmother's friend left all her money and possessions to my grandmother. My grandmother's friend had a trust (I believe to be an irrevocable trust) in which my grandmother believed would be transferred to her after her death. We have recently found that their are other beneficiaries listed... Read more »

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Mar 28, 2018

It's really not possible for anyone to answer the question without seeing the trust document itself. First, the trust may or may not be irrevocable and further even if it is irrevocable, the terms of the trust may allow a certain amount of flexibility. My advice would be to take a copy of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on
Q: How to obtain a copy of a last will & testament that has not yet been probated?

The sole owner of a home passed away in 2013. Left behind were a current wife, to whom he was married after the purchase of the home & was not listed on the deed. The decedent had two children, one of whom had passed away weeks before he did. The deceased son had one surviving son. Presumably, the... Read more »

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Mar 28, 2018

I cannot provide a specific answer to your situation, as I do not have all of the relevant facts. However, it may be helpful to know that Alabama law addresses the custody of a Will after a person's death. Please see the relevant statute below. Perhaps if you share the statute with the parties... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Alabama on
Q: My husband passed away unexpectedly this past October. He already had the home in which we lived and I am currently

living in..The home has a Morgage and he has no children only divorced parents.what actions do I need to take to keep my home?

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Mar 19, 2018

I am really sorry for your loss. Under Alabama law, it sounds like you would be your husband's next of kin (assuming he did not have a Will). As such, you are entitled to take the home as your inheritance from his estate. The most important thing that you can do to keep your home is to continue... Read more »

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