Who Can Probate a Will in the State of Alabama?

By Beverly Bird

In Alabama, if the deceased named someone in his will to oversee probate, he is referred to as the executor or personal representative; if no one is named in the will and the court must appoint someone, he is called the administrator. Probate is the process of disposing of the testator's property according to the will’s terms. The executor or administrator must also ensure that all of the deceased’s debts and any estate taxes are paid. Anyone in possession of the will can present it for probate after the testator’s death. This person does not necessarily have to be the executor.

In Alabama, if the deceased named someone in his will to oversee probate, he is referred to as the executor or personal representative; if no one is named in the will and the court must appoint someone, he is called the administrator. Probate is the process of disposing of the testator's property according to the will’s terms. The executor or administrator must also ensure that all of the deceased’s debts and any estate taxes are paid. Anyone in possession of the will can present it for probate after the testator’s death. This person does not necessarily have to be the executor.

Named Executor

Usually, the testator names her chosen executor in her will -- and possibly an alternate executor, as well, in case the first person predeceases her or does not wish to serve. In Alabama, the court almost always approves one of these people to probate the estate.

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Alternate Executor

If those named in the will are unable or unwilling to serve, a beneficiary in the will can petition the court for the job. If no beneficiary does this, then one of the deceased’s creditors can apply and may be appointed.

Other Requirements

Alabama does not require that an executor must reside in the state as long as there is a will. However, he must be older than 19 years of age and, according to Alabama’s statutes, innocent of any “infamous” crime. If the named executor is a creditor, that debt is not discharged because he takes office.

No Will Provisions

If there is no will, the deceased is said to have died intestate. However, his property must still pass through probate. Interested parties -- anyone with a financial interest in the estate -- have 40 days to petition the court for appointment as administrator of the estate. Alabama awards the office to a surviving spouse first, followed by other relatives, including children, parents or siblings. If the testator has no living relatives willing to take the position, the job passes to the estate’s largest creditor. If the deceased had no creditors in Alabama, the county where the deceased lived probates the will in counties with populations over 400,000. In other counties, anyone willing to serve may be appointed. When there is no will, the administrator must generally be a resident of Alabama.

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Massachusetts Laws Regarding the Administrator of an Estate

References

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What Is Required to Produce a Will for Probate in Alabama?

When an Alabama resident dies and leaves a will behind, that will must be filed with an Alabama probate court so that its validity can be tested and its instructions can be carried out. What is required to produce a will for probate in Alabama is set by the Alabama Probate Code and the county probate courts.

How to Record Last Wills & Testaments in Missouri

Probate is the legal process of transferring title and ownership of property out of a deceased owner's name and into the names of the deceased's beneficiaries. Once a property owner is deceased, the owner is no longer able to sign over property deeds and titles to a new owner. A personal representative appointed by the Missouri probate court receives authority from the court to stand in for the deceased. The personal representative uses this authority to identify and preserve the estate property, contact the individuals named in the will, and ultimately transfer the property to those individuals.

What Is a Notice of Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process for determining and gathering the assets of a deceased person, known as the decedent, paying his debts, and distributing his assets to his beneficiaries and heirs. Although state law varies regarding specific procedures, notice of probate is meant to accomplish the same thing in every state; that is, notice of probate gives parties who have an interest in a decedent's estate warning that the probate process is being initiated. As beneficiaries may not know they were included in a decedent's will, notice gives them an opportunity to assert their rights at the very beginning of probate administration.

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