Our Role as Your Probate Attorneys
The Rodgers Law Firm is ready and able to help you navigate whatever probate matters come your way. Whether it’s probating a will, contesting one, being appointed as Personal Administrator, or even working out what to do when someone dies and the remaining family all disagree – we can guide you to where you want to be.
Probate in Alabama is a court supervised process that is used to wind up a person’s legal and financial affairs after death. An Alabama probate attorney is usually hired by the Executor to oversee the process. The deceased person’s assets are administered to ensure that all creditors are paid, all rights of the beneficiaries and heirs are protected, and the estate assets are properly and fairly distributed.
Unfortunately, not all Probate and Trusts Administrations are free from strife. Often, the parent, during their life, was the “glue” holding the family together, and without the glue the family ties are weakened. Add to this the stress of an inheritance and disputes often arise. Being fully informed of your rights will help you to make an informed decision as how best for you to proceed.
Probate can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (and sometimes longer), and can be very complicated. Probate can also be quite expensive with filing fees set by Alabama’s Probate Code. Whether a person dies with only a will, or no will at all, a probate will likely be necessary if the decedent owned assets over a certain amount, or if they owned assets only in their own name.
As probate attorneys, The Rodgers Law Firm can assist you regardless of whether or not you are appointed as a personal representative or if you are a beneficiary and wish to protect your rights to ensure you get your fair share of the decedent’s estate.
The Probate Process in Alabama
The Alabama Probate process can be broken into six basic steps: (1) Validation of the Will (if one exists); (2) Appoint Personal Representative; (3) Inventory estate; (4) Pay claims against the estate; (5) Pay estate taxes; (6) Distribute remaining assets.
Each of these steps involves legal documentation and validation, as well as proper accountings.
Choosing the Right Attorney
The one essential thing you can do to ensure your probate is done right is to choose your attorney wisely.
Do not assume that all attorneys are the same – Too many lawyers only “dabble” in probate or trusts. Don’t choose a lawyer who does probate as a sideline because these lawyers often blunder causing real problems for their client and their cases often take longer than those handled by experienced probate lawyers.
You don’t have to use the attorney who prepared the Will – just because a particular attorney prepared the Will, this does not mean that attorney must handle the probate, nor are they necessarily the right person for the job. You need to be comfortable with the attorney and confident that they are the right attorney for you.
Choosing your probate or trust lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you put in the time and effort to find the right lawyer, you will be rewarded with a skillful guide who will help you navigate the probate process.
Having assisted personal representatives as well as beneficiaries in disputes for over 38 years, The Rodgers Law Firm is uniquely qualified to offer you a balanced perspective on all the parties’ rights and duties.