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Alabama Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: What does term in will mean : to serve in such capacity “without making bond or accounting “

Rebecca M. Wright answered on Jun 17, 2019

Any executor, devisee or legatee named in the will may probate a will. ALA. CODE § 43-2-851 requires the executor of a will to post bond. If bond is not waived in the will or if the petitioner is not named in the will as executor, then the probate court will require a bond.

In some...
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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 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: What is the penalty for liquidating decedents assets and distributing them according to the will w/out going through pr

without going through probate?

Frank Truncali answered on Nov 15, 2018

The problems you could have by not probating the will would be related to changing the legal ownership of certain types of assets or dealing with an heir who believes the will distribution was not handled properly. If there is any real estate in the name of the deceased, probating may be... 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.

Shane Michael Oncale answered on Oct 29, 2018

This question is more proper under the heading "Estate" or "Wills and Estates" than it is under Family Law but regardless the answer to your question is not as simple as you make it out to be. You will have to sit down with an attorney to make several determinations. Under Alabama law a spouse... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: Estate go to wife of person who died?

My husband's brother (xxx) died February 2018, leaving 1/3 of his estate to my husband xxx. xxx passed 2 weeks ago, August 2018. The sister (executor) now says xxx's 1/3 share does not go to me as wife of xxx, but to our daughter. Is this correct, even though husband's brother, xxx, passed first?

Frank Truncali answered on Sep 5, 2018

As long as a beneficiary in a will (Chuck) survives more than five days after the death of the testator (Bill), then Chuck's interest would go into his estate. As surviving spouse it should go to you first. That is the general rule. One exception would be if Chuck had specific language in his... 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 Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on

Q: My brother and I inherited some land from my father when he died in his will. It was to be divided equally between us.

My brother was executor over my fathers will and we did not divide the land before the will was probated. We acquired it at the same time and just owned it jointly together, either could use it however they wanted. We just never had any reason to divide it. It was recorded in both our names... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Aug 19, 2018

IF your father'swill was probated and the land was deeded to you and your brother, you are tenants in common in the land, in all likely-hood. Read the deed that was executed when the estate was closed. What does it say? Was an estate even opened? If not, the will is not effective. How long ago did... 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...
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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 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: My son's father isn't on the birth certificate. Im having my will drawn up. Can my son be left to my sister in my will.

Im trying to prevent my son from being a ward of the state. So im drawing up a will. His father doesnt want him and he isnt on the birth certificate. If i say in my will he goes to "my sister" . Will it be honored.

Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Jul 27, 2018

You can't "leave" a child to someone. You can express a preference on who would have custody of the child in the event of your death. The person who would have a priority over the person you choose would be the father of the child. The only way you can prevent that is to terminate his parental... 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.

Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Jul 6, 2018

There is no way I can answer that question without knowing whose name is on the deed to the house. If her name only is on the deed, and there is a valid will devising it to you, you will inherit the house. If there is no will, then the house would be inherited by her children and her spouse in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Estate Planning for Alabama on

Q: Agreement in front of witnesses to buy $350 item. "Check in the mail". Now refuses to pay but keeping the item.

My mother left me her personal belongings including the contents of her house and had the foresight to include a photographic inventory in her own hand. The house went to her husband in a right of survivorship but he died shortly thereafter and his heir is making things difficult. The heir made an... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Jun 22, 2018

The husband owned the stuff after she died. He died and now it belongs to his heirs. What county are you in?

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 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 Estate Planning and Tax Law for Alabama on

Q: Can my husband and I give our son a house that we own. Do we just sign the deed over to him without tax problems?

Eric Steven Day answered on May 16, 2018

You can sign over your house to your son, however, I would look into doing it in a few ways. If you sign the deed over to your son this can be considered a gift. You as individuals are allowed to give a gift in the amount of $14,000 each to anybody throughout the year tax-free. So you and your... Read more »

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