Estate Administration in Baldwin County, AL
An estate plan is very important. Having a mechanism in place to allocate your assets when you pass can give you a peace of mind and protect your family from the undue burden of uncertainty. With a will and other testamentary documents, you can ensure that property goes to those you choose in the most efficient possible way. In addition, your will can choose a person to carry out your wishes, called an executor. An executor’s responsibilities are substantial. It is important that he or she have quality legal support. Whether you are chosen as an executor, chosen as administrator of the estate when a party passes intestate, or are a beneficiary with an interest in the estate, Stone Crosby, P.C. is ready to represent you. Contact Stone Crosby, P.C. to discuss your legal matter with an effective attorney.
Passing with a will (testate)
Having a will is essential to a comprehensive estate plan. When you pass with a will in place, it is said that you passed “testate.” In your will, you should choose an Executor that will carry out your wishes and satisfy the obligations of the estate. Generally speaking, your executor will offer the will for probate, a process in Surrogate’s Court to establish the validity of the will and provide the authority to the executor to carry out the estate. When successful, the executor will be obligated to do the following:
- Collect & preserve assets
- Pay taxes and debts incurred by the estate
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries
- Provide an accounting to the court
- Close the estate
An executor should not, and most likely cannot, take on this task alone. An executor may coordinate with accountants, other attorneys, trustees, financial planners, banks, and beneficiaries. With so much at stake, it is important for your executor to have legal guidance through the estate administration process.
Passing without a will (Intestate)
Passing without a will subjects your estate to the laws of Alabama, loosely known as intestate succession or laws of intestacy. An administrator would act as the executor and accomplish much of the same obligations to close an estate. For the most part, one’s right to a piece of an estate depends on the relationship to the decedent. If a spouse survives and no children are present, they are entitled to the whole estate. If children survive a parent and no spouse is present, they are entitled to split the whole estate. If a spouse and children are present, Alabama law has a percentage in place. As things progress down the line, others become entitled to some, if not all, of the estate, including the parents and siblings of the deceased.
Contact Stone Crosby, P.C.
Stone Crosby, P.C. routinely represents beneficiaries, executors, and administrators in the estate administration process, both probate and regarding the laws of intestacy. If you need quality legal support through the process, it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney that can protect your rights and future. Contact Stone Crosby, P.C. for a consultation.