When a person passes away, they may have an estate plan left behind that must be taken care of. Part of doing so, if the decedent has a will, is the process of probate. Probate exists to determine if a will is valid in order to ensure the deceased’s last wishes are ready to be carried out. This process is often complex, which is why it is important to retain the services of an experienced Alabama estate administration attorney to handle these legal affairs.
What is Probate?
When a person leaves assets in a will, they must be handled properly. Probate can include an assessment of the value of these assets, paying off outstanding debts or taxes, and giving an executor the authority to distribute the remaining assets within the estate to the beneficiaries. The point of this process is to ensure the last wishes of the deceased are carried out to completion the way they desired.
What Does the Process Look Like?
To begin probate, the executor is required to file a petition to probate with the county clerk in the county where they resided. In addition to this, they must have the deceased’s death certificate, the probate petition, and any other supporting documentation. Executors can benefit from the assistance of an experienced attorney can ensure they have everything they need during this time.
The probate petition contains the executor’s identity and a list of any heirs or beneficiaries to the estate. These individuals will receive a citation that says where probate will occur, the rights of the parties who are involved, and the executor’s responsibilities moving forward.
What are the Responsibilities of an Executor?
The job of an executor is important and comes with many tasks. For example, it is their responsibility to gather and protect the deceased’s assets. In addition to this, they must ensure that the deceased’s debts and taxes are paid off. Once this is all done, they must distribute the assets within the estate to the rightful beneficiaries.
In order to finish probate and close the estate, the executor must provide a detailed account of these tasks and their completion to the court. If you were selected as an executor of a loved one’s estate, a skilled legal team can guide you through these matters to ensure you are properly administering every step.
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Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.