What does Probate of a Will mean?

Probate of a Will is the administration of an estate to insure that
all of the property is disposed of properly. It is the Probate
Judge’s responsibility to make sure that all of the laws in Alabama
regarding the distribution of estates are followed.

Who should Probate a Will?

Upon the person’s death, anyone named in the Will either as personal
representative or as a recipient of property, or any other person
with a financial interest in the estate, or the person who has
possession of the Will may have the Will proved before the proper
Probate Court. Any person in possession of the Will must, by Alabama
law, deliver the Will to the Probate Court or to a person who is
able to have the Will probated. A person in possession of the Will
can be required to produce it.

Where should a Will be probated?

Generally, Wills must be filed for probate in the county where the
deceased lived.

When must a Will be filed for probate?

To be effective, a Will must be filed for probate within five years
of the date of the testator’s death.

Do I have to have a lawyer?

The complexity of handling estates normally necessitate having an
attorney since the Probate Judge cannot advise you of the law or
provide you with forms.

Do I need to Probate the Will?

Yes, the Will must be probated to have legal effect. Before deciding
not to probate a Will one should consult an attorney.