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Lawyers for Wills and Estate Planning
A will is a document that outlines the manner in which a person’s real and personal property is to be distributed upon his or her death. While a large number of people in Alabama put off the making of a will or consider themselves too young to have a will, it is imperative to create a will to avoid the uncertainty of property distribution, legal complications, and unnecessary expenses. Contacting a Foley estate planning attorney can help you with creating a will.
In the absence of a will, the property of a deceased person is distributed by a person, an administrator, appointed by the probate court, in accordance with a mathematical formula set by Alabama law. This formula does not consider your sentiments, wishes, or desires with respect to your assets. Such distribution of assets may also cause emotional distress among your family members and could lead to additional expenses when they turn to the court to fight over the distribution of your assets. This is also relevant if you have been previously divorced. Subject to some restrictions, a will provides you with the flexibility to dispose of your property after your death in a manner that is in accordance with your personal feelings. Additionally, in place of a court appointing an administrator, a will provides you with an option to choose the person whom you consider competent to manage your estate and trust to follow your wishes as opposed to the rules promulgated by the state of Alabama.
Contact us online or call us today at (251) 444-7000 to schedule a free consultation with our estate planning attorneys in Daphne.
If you have minor children, the absence of a will can be quite detrimental to your children, surviving spouse, and other family members. In the absence of a will appointing a guardian, it is the state of Alabama that decides which person will have custody of your minor children. This could result in your surviving spouse, his or her in-laws, and other family members fighting in court over the custody of your children, which not only drains the assets of your estate but destroys family relationships.
If you run a business in Baldwin County, Alabama and you die without leaving a will, an administrator appointed by the probate court in Baldwin County cannot carry on your business without express approval from such court. The probate court has limited authority to provide such approval and, in most cases, the business must be sold. A will drafted according to the laws of Alabama can provide for succession considerations for businesses.
Having a well-drafted will can save you a lot of money. For instance, in the absence of a will, the probate court appoints an administrator to manage the distribution of the assets of your estate. This administrator charges a fee, which will be paid out of your assets. This fee can be avoided by the use of a will. According to Alabama laws, a will allows you to select a person to manage the distribution of assets and can contain a provision directing that such person shall not be paid any fee or only a small fee. Furthermore, if the probate court has to appoint an administrator, such administrator will be required by law to purchase a bond. The amount of the bond is determined based on the value of your estate and is paid from the assets of your estate. A carefully drafted will can, however, provide relief from having to purchase such bond.
Furthermore, in Alabama, a will can also:
As you can see, there are numerous advantages to having a will. We recommend that anyone who owns property and/or has children must take advantage of this estate planning tool. If you are considering the benefits of having a will or if you have questions pertaining to a will, please call us for a free consultation. Our estate planning attorneys in Foley will be happy to address all your concerns and assist you in preparing a customized estate plan consistent with your objectives.
Call our offices in Foley, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, and Daphne for a free consultation at (251) 444-7000.