Closing someone’s estate after she or he passes away could involve the probate process, estate administration, and/or trust administration. Each estate is unique, but most estates involve similar steps and legal actions such as these:
Most wills must go through the probate court process, but exceptions do occur. Probate serves as a forum to resolve disputes such as will contests and as a place where creditor claims can be satisfied.
When a loved one passes away with no last will and testament, the probate process becomes more difficult. The deceased's assets are inventoried, managed, and distributed according to state laws, not his or her wishes.
With a will-based estate plan in Alabama, a personal representative of the decedent is appointed to manage estate administration. This administration typically includes all steps necessary to move through the probate process as well as estate assets that don’t go through probate.
With a trust-based estate plan in Alabama, a successor trustee is responsible for distributing the assets of the decedent as specified in the trust. No probate process is required and the details are not made public. Taxes and creditor claims are handled by the successor trustee or his or her attorney.
Let us Help You Through a Difficult Time
If you are named a personal representative, executor, or successor trustee of someone who has passed away, we can help sort out the details and responsibilities. We can also consult with you in advance so that you are ready when the time comes.
Call us at 205-663-0281 for a free consultation. John Holliman or Melanie B. Holliman (formerly Melanie B. Bradford) will help you get through the process of closing a loved one’s estate, whether it is through probate, a trust, or an estate plan. We will treat you like family with compassion and respect.