When a loved one passes away, it is a sad experience that causes an emotional time in our lives. Dealing with estate administration can be difficult to handle during these times. The stress of planning legal and financial issues may be something you cannot bear. However, the process can be made to be more efficient with the help of an attorney. With our legal counsel, we can guide you along the planning while remaining compassionate to your needs. You should not have to carry this burden alone. A will is a legal document that ensures a person’s wishes regarding their estate after they die. Probate proves the legality of the will and allows the court to distribute the assets described. Testate means that a person dies with a valid will. The will has gotten the proper documentation and the Surrogate Court will oversee the probate of the will. If it is contested, it may be sent to the Superior Court. However, if a person dies without a will, they died intestate.
When do I start the probate process?
Probate may not begin until 11 days after the death of the individual. The original will and death certificate may be filed at this time. It should be filed with the Surrogate Court in the county where the deceased lived at the time of death. The filing of the papers may be done by the executor of the will, any heirs, spouses, creditors or anyone else with a property right or claim against the estate.
The executor is the representative that has the legal responsibility to take care of the deceased person’s remaining financial obligations. They may be named in the will specifically or appointed by the court. Some of their responsibilities include providing accounting to the court, paying outstanding debts and taxes and collecting, protecting and distributing assets according to the will’s specification. If you have been assigned as an executor, it is a serious task to take on. You may want to seek our legal counsel to ensure the tasks are done thoroughly. During times of death, it may be hard to focus and think clearly. We can help provide a clear state of mind to ensure everything is done properly.
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.