Probate Court Of Jefferson County, Alabama

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.

Medicaid Estate Recovery Notification Act Requirements for Probate Court

On June 10, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed Act 2019-489, which relates to the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. The Act requires that specific notice be provided to the Alabama Medicaid Agency at the commencement of all probate estate proceedings and upon all filings under the Small Estates Act.  Personal Representatives or all persons filing petitions to open an estate shall be responsible for providing notice to Alabama Medicaid Agency. In addition, the Act bars payments of claims in the sixth order of preference as well as summary distributions until proof of such notice has been filed and Medicaid has timely responded to the notice. The Act is effective September 1, 2019.

Attached are the following documents for your review:

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.