Estate administration includes all steps necessary to move through the probate process, when settling the estate of a loved one. Estate administration involves three categories of activities, as discussed below. Our estate probate attorneys will guide you every step of the way. The first step is the appointment of a personal representative of the decedent.
Estate Administration: Collecting the Assets
Someone must collect the assets and take control of the decedent’s property. Our estate probate attorneys know the best way to identify and organize the assets of an estate for an orderly estate settlement.
Estate Administration: Inventory
A detailed list of property and assets owned by the decedent at the time of death must be compiled, including the fair market value of each asset at the date of death and the amounts of each debt, if any, associated with each asset. In Alabama, this inventory must be filed within two months of the appointment of the decedent’s personal representative. She or he must also send a copy of the inventory to any interested person who requests it. A formal, or an informal, inventory is necessary to oversee and distribute the assets of the decedent.
Estate Administration: Disposing of Creditor Claims
In Alabama, the personal representative is also responsible for notifying the decedent’s creditors. The notice must in writing, delivered via first class mail. The notification advises the creditor of the details and timeframe for pursuing payment of a claim. Known creditors are given personal notices as soon as possible, typically within six months from the date of the appointment of the personal representative. For unknown creditors, notification is typically handled by publication in a local newspaper once a week for three successive weeks. If no newspaper is published in the county of the decedent’s residence, the notices are published in the newspaper nearest the county courthouse with jurisdiction.
All claims for payments must be filed within six months. Creditors file claims by submitting an affidavit to the Alabama probate court for filing as a lien against the estate. Failure to submit a claim does not prevent some creditors from exercising their rights. Claims are paid from estate assets. The debts of the probate estate are grouped in preference categories and paid in order, with lower-tier categories to be paid only when the higher-tier categories have been paid.
Estate Administration: Distributing What’s Left to the Beneficiaries
After all the creditor claims are paid and property of the estate has been liquidated, the funds left over are distributed to family members according to the will or probate court.
Estate Administration: The Final Closing
Once the personal representative has taken all actions necessary for estate administration, the estate probate attorneys can proceed with closing the estate.
Reach Out to Us
As your probate estate attorneys, John Holliman and Melanie Bradford listen carefully to your wishes and goals. They understand how stressed and anxious people become when grieving for the deceased, while handling the details of settling the loved one’s estate. They take the time to analyze your particular situation and offer solutions that are tailored to your unique situation. Call us today at 205-663-0281 for a free consultation. We treat you like family.
We can explain the entire estate administration process that applies to a particular situation and family. The ultimate goal is to protect your rights in a manner that is effective, legal and ethical. We offer a free consultation. Contact us by email, or call us at 205-663-0281.
L to R Top: Brandi Dipiazza, Kim Morrison, Betty Blalock, Melanie Bradford Holliman, John Holliman, Christine Graham