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Alabama Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: If I die first can I leave my house to my kids and exclude my spouse?

Only been married 2 years. We're both in our late 60s. Live in the house I bought 30 years ago and paid off before I ever met him. I want my house left to my two adult kids so they can sell it and split the money. All his friends and family are from another state. I'm confident when... Read more »

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Sep 5, 2020

You need a Will. In the Will you will have to leave him at least a dollar or he will be able to take a spousal share which is 50%. Go see a lawyer and make it happen. If you have a current Will that leaves the house to the kids then he will be about to take the 50%. So make sure you do this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: My mom died no will her property is in Probate does it make a difference I lived on the land for 28yrs

I'm the only one who tended to this land. And the other two siblings had nothing to do with my mom for the last couple years of her life

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Aug 26, 2020

If she died with no will, the property passes to her children. It didn’t matter that they didn’t have anything to do with her. It goes by Alabama laws of intestacy.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: Can a clause be written into a will that if one of the heirs contests the will they get nothing?
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 24, 2020

Yes. I usually tell clients that a "no contest" or "in terrorem" clause is enforceable in Alabama, however, courts will strictly construe these clauses, meaning that the court will almost look for a reason not to enforce the clause if possible. Nonetheless, these clauses can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Alabama on
Q: How can I get a deed for the land I live on?

Ok in 2016 I moved into my Dad’s trailer on his land which is in my dead step-mother’s name. My Dad said, This is your land now. But how is it my land if I don’t have a deed? I do pay the property tax’s on it. I hope you can help me answer my questions, I can’t stay in a run down trailer... Read more »

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Aug 15, 2020

Did your step mother have a Will leaving everything to your Dad? If she did then you can get a deed. If not, then it goes to her next of kin and 50% to your Dad. Her next of kin will be her children and if there are no children then her parents and if no parents then her brothers or sisters.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Civil Litigation and Probate for Alabama on
Q: What can I do when executor is running up expenses?

My aunt opened probate on my dad estate, he had no will in Alabama. Now she is running up expenses, such as she purchased a $4000+ headstone from the estate and had a $10K funeral. All was paid from my dad's bank acct. He wanted to a military burial. Probate was open without my brother or I... Read more »

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 14, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. You can always hire an attorney to file a petition to remove the Administrator and seek to recoup expenses. However, when an Administrator closes an estate he or she must get the consent of the heirs. If the heirs refuse to consent, the probate court will hold a final... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
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?

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Aug 14, 2020

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: My adult children recently inherited their deceased fathers home however there is a woman who is squatting in it

They was advised to serve her a 30 day written notice Which they did The utilities are listed in my name Can I legally suspend the utilities after the 30 day notice to vacate

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Aug 4, 2020

No. You will owe her money if you do. The next step is to evict her. Go to small claims court and get the forms, file them and have her served. Once served she has 14 days to answer. After that, then you can file for a default. After that if she’s still there then ask for a writ of assistance to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Alabama on
Q: i own 120 acres and my dad has a life estate on the property. he also owns the timber/mineral rights. can he sell them?

My father put the land in mine and my brothers name years ago but kept the timber/mineral rights. He has cut timber many times. Now he wants to sell the land and we don't agree. Can he sell the timber/mineral rights to someone without our knowledge? WHat happens to the land then?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 28, 2020

If the conveyance to you and your brother is enforceable, then his reserving timber and mineral rights will also be enforceable. That could involve the entire surface of the 120 acres. You apparently state that Father owns the fee in timber and minerals, but only a life estate in the property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: I know my grandfather left me stuff in his will but my grandmother got power of attorney. how can i see the will?

can i find out if she took me out of the will or if anything was left to me?

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Jul 19, 2020

Was the Will Probated? You can call the judge of probate in your county and find out. If there is not a will then you are out of luck. And then some people choose not to probate the will because they don’t want everyone getting their stuff. Unless you have a copy of the Will you are probably... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Need a lawyer to open safety bank dep. Box for deceased mother not afford 2000 retainer. Can you make referral thank you

Thousand Dollars retainer. Is there a lawyer in mobile who can just get a court order to have box opened for a fee. Thank you

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Jun 18, 2020

I am not sure if she would be able to help, but I would recommend Stephanie Booth. Her e-mail address is sbooth@gcelderlaw.com

Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: When someone gives away an item years before his passing; is the item subject to the deceased's previous will?

My question is about three, irreplaceable heirloom items with no monetary value, but which my father personally entrusted to me because of their immense sentimental value. When he gave them to me (several years before he passed away); my father was emphatic about his determination for me to have... Read more »

Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney answered on Jun 4, 2020

I can provide some general information about the treatment of specific devises in a Will. You will of course need to speak with an attorney to discuss the specific application of the law to your situation (as some additional facts would be helpful in providing a final answer). First, you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Gov & Administrative Law for Alabama on
Q: can the government force me to liquidate all me assets before I am able to receive medicaid support?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 29, 2020

They can't FORCE you to do so, no, but they can deny benefits until you are eligible. Do yourself a HUGE favor and schedule an appointment with an experienced elder law attorney in your area. Elder law attorneys are good at helping people attain Medicaid eligibility in the shortest amount of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: Can/will Medicaid pursue asset recovery on a home that is by their calculation worth less than is owed on the mortgage?

The home is in my mother's name, but I and my family live in it. Current tax appraisal of home is $49k, and Alabama Medicaid advised me to list it for $50 -55k, but $60k is still owed on the mortgage. Will they force us to continue to try and sell, even though they would get nothing, or is... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on May 27, 2020

Your mom has an asset, which is the home. The mortgage may reduce the home's value to her, but it's still an asset.

There are too many unknowns that need to be looked into before you can know whether Medicaid can come after the house. One would be whether Medicaid recorded a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: I am sole benifercy of estate of widow w/NO kid's. Am DPOA. Can her neice interfere?
Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on May 6, 2020

If she believes you are financially exploiting the elderly, she sure can.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant, Legal Malpractice and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Does a handwri statement have to be certified in order to make it legal.

Girlfriend passed away and Left a handwri statement saying I could stay on her property in a house until I die

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 26, 2020

The probate court would need to determine that the handwritten statement satisfies the requirements for a holographic will. You will probably need a probate attorney to help you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: If one person passes away on a tenants in common deed (acreage) & no will is left, who does their portion go to?

My grandparents had a few hundred acres in Alabama that was left to my dad and brother in a tenants in common warranty deed. My dad seems to think (but I want to confirm) that when he passes away that his portion will automatically go to my mom, and if she passes then to me. There is no will (to... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 25, 2020

Assuming all of the children are children of your mom and dad's marriage, when you dad dies your mother will inherit the first $50,000 of his estate and half of the rest and everything else will go to the children (all of them) in equal shares. If your mom later dies without a will her estate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Coowner of savings account dies 30 days before owner dies. Coowner spouse was secondary on POA. Who gets the money now?
Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Apr 6, 2020

By co-owner I am making the assumption that the account was held by two people as joint tenants with a right of survivorship. You must confirm that with the bank. If one person dies, then the money -- at law -- is the property of the other at the moment of death. I don't see from your question... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: I am my brother's legal guardian. He relies on Medicare to pay his nursing home. He was omitted from Dad's will.

If he receives any money Medicare will take his benefits away. Dad died without taking brother's name off insurance as beneficiary. I can disclaim his insurance benefit, but what happens to his benefit if I do? How long is any disclaimer in effect? What can I do to prevent Medicare from... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 12, 2020

You probably mean Medicaid not Medicare. The disclaimer would be considered an uncompensated transfer and your brother willl incur a penalty period. There are better ways to handle this. Consult with an elder law attorney in your area. Most likely you will be looking at a strategy that combines... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Alabama on
Q: after a conservator turns in detailed financial records of first year to probate court, do they have to do it forever

Will conservator be under probate court until incapacitated person dies?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 16, 2020

Yes, that is the nature of conservatorships. Conservatorships are avoidable with proper estate planning.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Alabama on
Q: Alabama...My dad passed away recently.

I could not get the information on the above line. His wife could do as she pleased with her half. She hates me so I am concerned. With dad on his morphine deathbed, she had the executor changed and I was told she could do that because once dad died it went to her. Do we have to wait until she dies... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 24, 2020

I hate to tell you this, but based upon the facts as you have related them, it is entirely possible that you will inherit nothing if your dad left everything to his wife in his will, because now his widow can do anything she wants with your dad's estate. If he left anything to you in his... Read more »

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