Birmingham Estate Administration & Litigation Attorneys
Be proactive and seek advice when planning for the future
Estate planning is the most effective method of ensuring your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes. Wills and trusts allow you to take control of your estate and provide for your family. The probate process is complex and can take several years. At King, Green, & Dobson, LLC, our primary objective is to simplify the estate administration process and provide the resources you need to make sound decisions.
The requirements for a valid will in Alabama
Requirements for a valid will vary from state to state. In Alabama, a court will recognize a will if:
• The person making the will, the testator, is at least 18-years-old.
• The testator has the mental capacity to make reasonable decisions.
• It is signed by the testator or by another person at the direction, and in the presence, of the testator.
• It is signed by a Notary and at least two witnesses.
• It is in writing.
A will can be revoked by a subsequent will expressly or through inconsistency. A will may also be revoked through a physical act, such as burning, tearing and obliterating it. The physical act may be performed by the testator or another person in his or her presence and by his or her consent, provided that there are at least two witnesses present.
The process of contesting a will can be contentious and financially burdensome. A will can be contested in writing by any interested party or anyone who would have been an heir or distributee under intestate succession laws. Common objections include improper execution and the testator’s unsoundness of mind. If you have concerns regarding the validity of a will, you should seek assistance from a reputable Birmingham attorney.
State law governs how property is distributed in the absence of a will
If you die without a valid will, state intestacy laws determine who gets your property and assets. Intestate succession laws distribute property among surviving spouses, children, parents and other relatives. If there are no eligible distributees under the intestate provisions, the entire estate escheats, or passes, to the state of Alabama.
Living trusts save you time and money
A living trust is another way to protect your property. Living trusts are created while you are still alive and allow you to transfer title to a trustee. Trusts allow you to maintain control over your assets and designate who receives the benefits. The primary advantage of a living trust is the ability to avoid the probate process.
Depending on your specific circumstances, you can create a trust suited to your personal needs. A special-needs trust can be created for the benefit of a loved one with a disability. You can also designate a charitable organization as a beneficiary of your trust. The attorneys at our Birmingham law firm are dedicated to helping you plan for the future and provide for your loved ones.
Estate planning lawyers guide you to a successful resolution
At King, Green, & Dobson, LLC, we work hard to help you preserve your legacy and plan for the future. Schedule a consultation with one of our estate administration lawyers to assess your situation and develop an advantageous strategy for your family. We meet with clients at each of our office locations in Birmingham and Blount County. Call us at 205.937.3687 or contact us online today.