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If you are currently dealing with, or about to deal with, the Alabama state court system with respect to a probate or estate issue - the following information should be helpful to you.

Probate law governs estate matters when someone who, such as a family member or other loved one, passes away. These laws insure that creditors are paid properly and that assets are distributed correctly to the "heirs," or the descendant(s) of the estate.

What is the purpose of Probate? Probate is the legal process that deals with estate assets and property, with regard to heirs and creditors. Probate begins with a "petition" to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased's property.

The next step is when an official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims from the first date of publication. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.


Alabama Probate Law

If you are an heir of an estate in probate in Alabama , you should be familiar with "execution, acknowledgement and proof" of petition, and should know what a will contest is all about, a stipulated in the Alabama State probate code. You might need to know what the surviving spouse receives, if it applies. This is where your Probate attorney will come in. He or she will clarify these matters for you.

In Alabama , wills must be "proved" by at least one of the people who were "witnesses", when the deceased signed the will. If you are dealing with a missing will, you'll be able to probate it, however the contents will have to be proven by the witness, in a manner defined by the Alabama courts.

When you are going to write a will, or witness the writing of someone else's, you should remember that every will needs to be singed by the "testator", or by someone else, only if the testator is present and in agreement. It is clear that the treatment of wills in Alabama requires extensive knowledge about the legal system. Attorneys will help you handle these issues.

Will contests are an important matter as well. Any heir can contest the validity of the will and the way that it has been handled. This procedure is carried out by filing a formal complaint in the "circuit court", only if this heir has not contested this will beforehand. In other words, a person can only contest one specific will once.

In the state of Alabama, the surviving spouse receives the entire estate of the deceased, as long as there is no living parent. However, if a parent is still alive, the spouse still receives the first $100,000,000 in value, and one half of the estate balance. There are many other Estate specifications to consider, which your Probate lawyer will help you figure out.

If you are a spouse in the process of inheriting an estate, it is to your benefit to seek legal advice, so that you assure the success of the process. Having an attorney on your side will help you make sure that the estate and assets of your loved one are handled in a proper and legal fashion.

Probate in Alabama

Alabama has 68 probate courts and 68 judges. The courts have jurisdiction over mental health, estate, adoption, and real property rights cases and do not allow jury trials.

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