LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Douglas C Martinson II | Aug 13, 2010

Probate of a Will in Alabama

PROBATE OF WILLS

WHAT DOES PROBATE OF A WILL MEAN?

Probate of a Will is proving the Will is valid and the administration of an estate to insure that all of the assets are collected and disposed of properly, according to the terms of the Will. It is the Probate Judge’s and the Personal Representative’s responsibility to make sure that all of the laws in Alabama regarding distribution of estates are followed.

WHO SHOULD PROBATE A WILL?

Upon the person’s death, anyone named in the Will either as personal representative or as a recipient of assets, or any other person with a financial interest in the estate, or the person who has possession of the Will may have the Will proved before the proper probate court. Any person in possession of the Will must, by Alabama law, deliver the Will to the Probate Court, or to a person who is able to have the Will probated. A person in possession of the Will can be required to produce it.

WHERE SHOULD A WILL BE PROBATED?

Generally, Wills must be filed for probate in the county where the deceased lived or had assets.

WHEN MUST A WILL BE FILED FOR PROBATE?

To be effective, a Will must be filed for probate within five years of the date of the testator’s death.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A LAWYER?

The complexity of handling estates normally necessitates having an attorney. The Probate Judge cannot advise you of the law or provide you with forms.

DO I NEED TO PROBATE THE WILL?

Yes, the Will must be probated to have legal effect. Before deciding not to probate a Will, one should consult an attorney.

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