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Probate Estate With Will

WHAT DOES PROBATE OF A WILL MEAN?

Probate of a Will is the administration of an estate to insure that all of the property is disposed of properly. It is the Probate Judge’s responsibility to make sure that all of the laws in Alabama regarding the 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 property, 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.

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 necessitate having an attorney since the Probate Judge cannot advise you of the law or provide you with forms.

DO I NEED TO PROBATE THE WILL?

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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Due to the complexity of laws and procedures of the Probate Court, we strongly suggest that you seek the advice of a licensed attorney.  The Probate Judge, Chief Clerk and Staff of the Probate Court are prohibited by law to offer any legal advice.  

2009

Prepared by the Alabama Law Institute for Alabama Probate Judges’ Association

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