Wills and Estates
The self-proved will statute was enacted in Alabama in 1982. Consequently, most wills are admitted to probate in Jefferson County without a hearing, assuming the proper petitions and waivers are submitted. However, in those instances in which the will is not self-proved or in which there are minors, incapacitated persons or where the location of one or more of the decedent’s next-of-kin is unknown, a hearing must be held prior to a Last Will and Testament being admitted to probate.
Once a will is probated, a decedent’s estate, referred to as being a “testate estate,” must remain open for a minimum period of six months. An attorney can provide more information and walk clients through the process to admit the will to probate, have Letters Testamentary issued by the court, and deal with any estate issues that may arise.
If an individual dies without a will, which is referred to as being an “intestate estate”, an estate can still be opened and “administered”. The same six month minimum period for the estate to remain open applies. An attorney can provide more detailed information.
The State of Alabama has a relatively low cost and short time period in which testate and intestate estates must remain open.
This information page, which is based on Alabama law, is to inform and not to advise. No person should ever apply or interpret any law without the aid of a lawyer who analyzes the facts, because the facts may change the application of the law.