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Alabama Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: If a person nominated to become trustee over a trust fails to communicate with beneficiary or executor for 11 months can

A successor trustee that's named in the wheel take over the duties and being and being appointed trustee without the courts

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 20, 2024

If they agree to the new Successor Trustee taking over the monies, property as Trustee, yes. Otherwise Successor Trustee has a duty to ask for a Court to appoint him as the new Trustee, with orders to any Banks. etc. to transfer to the new Trustee.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Can I take equity out of a home if I am not on the original loan or deed, but legally inherited property (home)?

My spouse died and I was not on the loan or the deed the home. The home has a debt on it. I know I can get the deed done up, but what about the loan? I know the debt doesn’t go away and I need to figure something out about that like try to assume it if I want to stay or find a way to pay it off.... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jan 31, 2024

You may be able to find a lender for a refinance, which will require you to have it of record how you own as an heir. Affidavit of Heirship and/or probate will be in order. Your credit will be involved. Once you have a source of title, you may be able to sell it subject to the secured debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Alabama on
Q: Can an administrator deposit a personal check (funds) made out to the estate of funds are needed? Such as $500?

Can an executor deposit funds into an estate account with no expectation of payment in return, giving all to the beneficiary, if there was an error ?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 29, 2024

In the United States, an administrator or executor of an estate has certain fiduciary responsibilities to manage the estate's assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. If there is a temporary need for funds within the estate, the administrator may deposit their own personal funds into the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: Can a mortgage company call a loan due if the person who can assume the loan is being difficult or non responsive?

I am the executor of an estate. A beneficiary of a home (due to a person being deceased) has been granted status as successor of interest. The payments have been kept up via automatic payments under the deceased persons account. If with these circumstances, can the loan be called DUE NOW if he... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jan 23, 2024

A home mortgage lender may NOT call a loan due on account of the death of the borrower if the lender has been informed that the property will be inherited by a relative. Your facts did not say whether or not this is case, but that fact is highly relevant. If a relative is the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Can a verbal agreement and/or verbal promise be legally binding for a will?

When dad died, stepmom made a verbal agreement and a verbal promise that, when she passed away, her stepdaughter would receive dad’s inheritance and her daughter would get hers. However, when she died, her daughter got everything. Stepdaughter was never told that stepmother had passed away.... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 22, 2024

No.

At best, stepdaughter might have a claim based upon promissory estoppel if she made some sort of out-of-pocket expenditure in reasonable reliance upon stepmom's verbal promise. Her measure of recovery would be limited to the out-of-pocket expense she incurred.

A will--even...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, International Law and Probate for Alabama on
Q: What does a legal opinion for the purpose of UK/US inheritance entail and what should it cost? How would we find one?

Late grandmother domiciled in Alabama until death. She had both UK and US assets but only a UK will leaving it to immediate family. UK courts requesting legal opinion from US solicitor before proceeding with granting probate. US court already determined UK grandchildren (last remaining immediate... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 19, 2024

Based on the details provided, here are some pointers on obtaining a US legal opinion for this UK/US inheritance situation:

• The UK court is likely looking for confirmation from a US attorney that the Alabama will is valid and enforceable to distribute the US assets per that will's...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Collections for Alabama on
Q: How should I deal with the people that call looking for the person in charge of my wife's Estate.. She had no will.

My wife passed in August 2023. She had one personal loan and two credit cards in her name only.

James Blount Griffin
James Blount Griffin
answered on Jan 5, 2024

This question opens other questions. The first people to call the survivors after someone dies are often credit cards servicers, who are actually the last priority for an estate administrator to pay. The highest priorities are court costs, taxes, funeral expenses, legal fees, and then secured... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Would the executor of an estate be notified or allowed to inquire if the assumption of a mortgage was obtained or denied

I am the executor of my mothers estate. My father is the beneficiary of a home with a mortgage. He is working on assumption of the Loan but it has not happened. Initially as his power attorney, I was also communicating with the company on his behalf. For different reasons, I am considering having... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Dec 20, 2023

There is no need for your father to assume the loan. As the legal heir/beneficiary he can simply keep making the mortgage payments, and the lender is obligated under federal law to provide statements and other loan information to him. He is what is called a legal "successor in interest".

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: On a mortgage assumption, who coordinates the updating of the deed to the home? Lender or Buyer? It’s not a new mortgage

For mortgage assumption, who coordinates the closing and updating the deed when it is an assumption and not a “new loan.”

Is it the lender or does the buyer find their own closing attorney? This is for a mortgage on the home of a deceased person. The deceased was the only name on the... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Dec 13, 2023

The title (what you are calling the deed) is updated by the probate process. When approved by the court (usually), the executor signs a deed transferring title from the estate to the heir(s).

If this is a house, you should know that none of the heirs are obligated to assume the loan, but...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: I have a buyout offer for trust and I need it reviewed and my response and counter offer reviewed

I have copy of settlement offer and my response draft and counter offer. Can someone review it and let me know if it’s adequate

Paul  Burkett
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answered on Dec 4, 2023

This is not legal advice as to this specific case you have submitted but information I believe is relevant to your question. That said, you should hire a lawyer to navigate all the possibilities before you. In general, these types of cases can involve many documents. A lawyer will need all... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: My grandfather passed away in 2019 he left the wheel that consisted of property that he left to me my grandmother and my

Sister passed away I just need help I really need help he sold an option of our property he was the conservator of my grandmother at the time I spoke to him and tried to explain to him to sell the property or auction off the property he would not listen he told me I had nothing to do with it I was... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 19, 2023

If your grandfather left a will that included you, your grandmother, and your sister as beneficiaries for property, it's important to understand the terms of that will and how it affects the property now. If your grandfather was the conservator of your grandmother, he would have had certain... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Social Security and Real Estate Law for Alabama on
Q: I have questions regarding liens on a property owned by someone who is on SSDI, and future property transfer to family

My mother and father are both disabled. They own their home and land. There are two liens on their property. Can they still transfer ownership of the property to me? (I am also disabled) Will the liens apply to me in anyway? Will I have to pay them? Could I lose the property? It is my current... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 14, 2023

The transfer of the property to you may trigger the liens if they are attached to the property itself. Whether you would be personally responsible for the liens would depend on various factors, including the nature of the liens and state laws. Consult with an attorney experienced in real estate and... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: Executor of a living will how long does he have to get it settled and can he stop siblings from getting information from
Thad A. Davis
Thad A. Davis
answered on Jul 25, 2023

I'm sorry that you're having an issue. I'm not sure I understand the question that you're asking so I'm going to answer as I understand it. I think you're asking how long does an executor of a will have to settle an estate and can the executor stop the other... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: If you are on your single parents bank accounts in Alabama and they pass away, do you have control of their estate?
Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jul 9, 2023

Your statement of facts does not contain enough information to answer your question.

When you say you are "on" your parent's bank accounts, exactly what do you mean by "on"?

Are you a tenant in common? Joint tenant with right of survivorship? Attorney in...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: If you are on your single parents bank accounts in Alabama and they pass away, do you have control of their estate?
James Blount Griffin
James Blount Griffin
answered on Jul 10, 2023

Joint bank accounts often, but not always, have a "right of survivorship" to the account holder who survives the other. The terms of the account are in that envelope full of small print that you get when you open an account. The ownership of a bank account is often a separate issue from... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Alabama on
Q: Hello My mother-in-law wanted her son to have her home. She passed away and the house is in my husband's name at the

Tuscaloosa Court House but she did not redeed it to him. There is only one sibling left and now she wants to sell the house, what can I do as the widow of the son. Does the house belong to me?

James Blount Griffin
James Blount Griffin
answered on Jul 4, 2023

This is a complex question. A stated intent is not enforceable. In probate and real estate law, written and notarized documents, i.e., deeds and wills, rule.

If the person whose name is on the deed as owner of the property died without a will, then the property is ruled by the laws of...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Alabama on
Q: What tax/fees/costs are associated with inheriting a piece of property? It's less than 10 million and in AL.

My mom thinks that she has to do some weird legal workaround so that when we inherit her property we won't have to lose a ton of money on inheritance. I've researched as much as I can but she's not convinced. I've looked at AL and federal tax laws and can't find anything... View More

James Blount Griffin
James Blount Griffin
answered on Jul 4, 2023

Your mother may be worried about inheritance taxes, which are taxes on what you inherit. Fortunately, there are no federal inheritance taxes, and, just as well, there are no Alabama inheritance taxes. She will not pay taxes on what she inherits (unless, perhaps, she moves quickly to New Jersey,... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Alabama on
Q: What tax/fees/costs are associated with inheriting a piece of property? It's less than 10 million and in AL.

My mom thinks that she has to do some weird legal workaround so that when we inherit her property we won't have to lose a ton of money on inheritance. I've researched as much as I can but she's not convinced. I've looked at AL and federal tax laws and can't find anything... View More

James Blount Griffin
James Blount Griffin
answered on Jul 4, 2023

I will complete my answer by saying the costs and fees of inheriting property would include a good accountant, because substantial or complex property requires excellent accounting. In most cases, there would be no substantial transfer tax on inherited real estate when you record a deed in the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Agricultural Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Land given to me but not left in a will was sold off. Do I have rights to it since I've kept it up as mine since 2009?

Land has been in my family since the 60's, my grandmother was killed in 2019 and had given me a small section of land adjoining mine back in 2009, but she never updated her will to include it as said. Her house and property was sold off in 2021. Now my yard with my kids playset, etc which... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 2, 2023

If your grandmother gave you a piece of land, even if it was not included in her will, then legally you would have a claim to that land. However, if the property was sold without your knowledge or consent, you may need to take legal action to assert your rights to the property.

You may want...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: My husband just died and left his entire $1,000,000 life insurance policy to his sister. We have minor children.

He told me I was beneficiary. Life insurance policy was paid for 12 years from our joint account. Married over 17 years. 2 minor children. Do I have cause to contest this?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Feb 4, 2023

An Alabama attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. I'm sorry for the loss of your husband and the concealment of the terms of the policy. This is posted under Bad Faith, but attorneys who practice in the Probate and Estate Planning categories might be a better... View More

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