DUTIES OF THE PROBATE OFFICE - ESTATESWHAT IS A WILL?
A will is a document that provides the manner in which a person's property will be distributed when he dies. A person who dies after writing a Will is said to have died testate.WHO MAY MAKE A WILL?
In Alabama, the maker of a Will must be:
- be at least 18 years old
- of sound mind
- Free from improper influences by other people.
A Will must meet certain requirements set by the State to be considered valid. The Will must be written, signed by the maker, and witnessed by two people in the manner required by the law.WHAT HAPPENS TO MY PROPERTY IF I DO NOT WRITE A WILL?
If someone dies without writing a Will, they have died intestate. Each state has specific laws governing the distribution of property when a person dies intestate, and most laws are generally the same.STEPS IN PROBATE OF AN ESTATE:
- file petition
- take immediate control of the estate
- inventory the estate within 2 months
- notice must be given to all heirs
- letters of Testamentary granted
- Notice to file claims must be published and individual notice given to anyone known to have a claim against the deceased
- Claims must be filed generally within 6 months
- Generally the estate cannot be divided until all claims and expenses have been paid which is at least 6 months
- Court must approve administrator's fees