Silver Spring, MD asked in Estate Planning for Alabama

Q: A grandfather died intestate and left an estate vested to his kids who did not probate it and also died intestate.

Does Alabama intestate code provides that the grandchildren will take equal of their grandfather's estate?

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

A: As with most legal questions, there is a need for some additional facts before someone could give you a firm answer (e.g., time of death, type of property). In general, if a grandparent died intestate and his children survived him by more than five days, their share of his estate became a part of their estate. The applicable Alabama Code section is below. Upon the death of the child, that child's heirs (which could be a spouse) would take their estate.

For example, let's assume a grandfather died survived by three children: A, B and C. No action was taken on his estate. A has two kids, B has a spouse and 1 child and C has no children. Assume A, B and C all die. What happens to grandfather's assets?

In this situation, A, B and C each got 1/3 of grandfather's estate and their 1/3 shares are to further pass as follows now that they are deceased:

A- equally to his two kids

B- all to spouse (depending on amount) and perhaps split between spouse and child

C- to A and B estates, and then to the individuals above

As you can see it is a highly fact specific analysis and it might be a good idea to speak with an attorney in your area. Given that so much time has passed, I am going to guess that we are talking about land. It may therefore be most efficient to speak to a real estate attorney or title company about "getting good title to the land."

Best of luck!

Section 43-8-43

Requirement that heir survive decedent for five days.

Any person who fails to survive the decedent by five days is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, the exempt property and intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If the time of death of the decedent or of the person who would otherwise be an heir, or the times of death of both, cannot be determined, and it cannot be established that the person who would otherwise be an heir has survived the decedent by five days, it is deemed that the person failed to survive for the required period. This section is not to be applied where its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the state under section 43-8-44.

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