No doubt, you have heard the word “probate” and know it has something to do with the last will and testament of a deceased person. You have questions: what does it mean to probate a will, is it necessary, how long does it take and why are the courts involved?
Perhaps, your interest has to do with the loss of a loved one and you are about to enter the probate experience. Fortunately, there are simple answers to such questions that may prove to be beneficial.
Probate verifies the fulfillment of last wishes
Like most states, Alabama desires to fulfill an individual’s last will and testament. Thus, state law establishes a period to verify those wishes and make certain those in charge of carrying them out fulfill their responsibilities properly. This is what transpires during the course of probate.
Some probate questions come up repeatedly
Many of these frequent questions have simple, clear answers:
- How long does probate last? Probate lasts a minimum of six months. The more complex a person’s estate is, the longer it may take to probate it.
- What is the time limit to probate a will? According to Alabama statutes, probate must conclude within five years.
- Why must it go before a court? While most families want to follow through with a deceased person’s wishes, the courts have found it necessary to make judgments when there are disputes or complex financial and property matters.
When there is no last will left by the deceased, the court must decide who will administer the estate. This person is the executor.