Under Alabama law, a deceased person’s will must generally be presented to a probate court in a timely manner. As a general rule, the estate representative is the person who is tasked with initiating probate proceedings. However, anyone who has a copy of a valid will can do so on that person’s behalf. A court may levy penalties upon those who fail to live up to their obligations after an individual passes.
An executor has a fiduciary responsibility to an estate
An executor must act in the best interests of the estate at all times. If he or she fails to do so, the judge overseeing the case may replace that individual with someone else. An estate representative may violate his or her duty to the estate by failing to inventory assets, stealing money intended for beneficiaries or taking too long to distribute property.
What if a will is deemed to be invalid?
A will could be declared invalid by a judge if there are questions about the testator’s intentions. It may also be nullified if there is reason to believe that it was created under duress or by a person who was not of sound mind. In such a scenario, state intestacy laws will likely be used to determine who should receive a deceased person’s belongings. State law may also be used to determine who should raise any minor children who are left without parents to look after them. An attorney may be able to answer any questions that you might have about wills & probate proceedings.
If you’re involved in a probate case, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney. He or she may be able to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the entire proceeding.