The probate process in Alabama can be long and complicated. It is essential that you know the proper order and timeline of this process if you are the administrator or executor in an estate. Any person who is named in the will has an interest in the will, or has custody of someone named has the right to file a petition for probate of said will. The process of filing probate for an estate in Alabama is as follows:
- A petition must be filed to have the estate probated. An executor must take control of the estate as determined in the will. If no executor is named, the court will appoint someone. If the person died without a valid will, you would need to file for Letters of Administration with the probate court. You would also need to provide a bond as the personal representative. The amount of bond would vary based on the value of the estate.
- Obtain a copy of the death certificate.
- Inventory must be taken of all property of the decedent and submitted to the court within two months. Along with the inventory, estimated annual income and bond value must be provided.
- All beneficiaries must receive Letters of Notice for probate and Letters of Testamentary must be granted.
- A Notice to File Claims is required to be published every week for three weeks consecutively. Anyone who has a claim against the estate must receive notice within six months.
- Liabilities must be paid against the estate, and all claims must be investigated and addressed. A probate court in the state will approve all fees for attorneys.
- The remainder of the estate is divided for the beneficiaries as outlined in the will.
No assets may be dispersed or sold until probate has been completed. The executor of the estate has no power over any of the property except what the court gives them.