Probate Attorneys in Baldwin County, AL
Planning for one’s estate should be focused on the testator’s wishes and intent. It is important to construct all testamentary documents with the subject’s vision in mind. In order to ensure that the estate plan is followed, it is best to retain the services of a probate attorney. The process of carrying out an estate is often referred to as probate and takes place in the Surrogate’s Court of the county where the decedent resided. Stone Crosby, P.C. provides effective and compassionate legal support to executors, beneficiaries, and those with an interest in an estate. If you need quality legal support through the probate process or believe that an estate has been compromised, contact Stone Crosby, P.C. to discuss your legal matter.
What is probate and how does it relate to an estate?
Probate is the process of validating a decedent’s last will and testament, assigning an executor to an estate, carrying out the wishes of the deceased, and closing the estate. The process is quite detailed. For an executor, the responsibility is substantial and deserves the attention of an attorney.
Filing a will for probate
The executor’s obligation to the estate starts with filing a will for probate. In addition, the executor will need to provide a death certificate, probate petition, and other supporting documents, including a list of heirs and the executor’s identification. The heirs should be served a citation naming the Surrogate Court with jurisdiction and authority to determine the rights of interested parties to the estate and the executor’s actions, including filing the will and becoming the executor. If there is no issue, the executor may carry out the decedent’s wishes and follow through with the probate process.
Closing an estate
In order for the executor to close an estate, he or she will need to go through some steps that are time-consuming and complicated. These steps deserve the attention of an experienced attorney. The executor must collect and preserve assets, pay all taxes and debts of the decedent, allocate asset to beneficiaries, and provide a detailed accounting to the court.
Legal issues that can arise
Even the most comprehensive estate plan is vulnerable to legal issues during probate. Some wills are contested by interested parties, including people not in the will and/or beneficiaries who believe that they are not getting their fair share or that the estate was compromised. An executor can face legal issues if an interested party believes that he or she violated their fiduciary duty. With so much at stake, these parties need an estate litigation attorney to protect their rights and interests.
Contact our experienced probate attorneys
If you are involved in the probate of an estate, contact Stone Crosby, P.C. Our firm has decades of experience acting as counsel to testators, beneficiaries, those who have an interest in a will, and those acting as executors. We are dedicated professionals ready to assess your legal matter, guide you through your legal matter, and zealously represent you in and out of court. Contact Stone Crosby, P.C. to discuss your legal matter with our firm.