Madison, AL asked in Estate Planning for Alabama

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.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: 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 presented to and approved by a probate court in order to grant the Executor power to administer the estate. The Executor or person in possession of an original Will has an obligation to present it to a court. In your situation that court will be in Missouri if that is your mother's residence at the time of death. You would need to contact an attorney in Missouri for assistance in "probating" the Will.

As a side note, a Will does not always have to be probated. If a person dies with more debt than assets, it probably doesn't make sense to probate the Will. However, before making any decision about probating, I would recommend you consult with a local attorney.

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