A will is not effective until it is probated… but when does that happen?
Typically, a will must be offered for probate within five years of the testator’s (will maker’s) death.
However, extra time may be allowed if the failure to file the will on time was due to fraud. In that case, you have another year starting from the date that the fraud was discovered (or reasonably should have been discovered) to file the will for probate.
If the deceased person was not a resident of Alabama at his death, then his will may be probated in Alabama if the will was admitted to probate in the state where he resided at his death within five years from the date of his death.
What if you miss the deadline?
If the will is not offered for probate within the provided time then it’s as if the decedent did not leave a will, and his estate is administered as an “intestate estate.” This, of course, could result in a completely different distribution of property from what the testator intended.
Deadline for Administering an Intestate Estate in Alabama
If the decedent was intestate (meaning he did not leave a will) then there is no statute of limitation for administering his estate.
Are you ready to Open an Estate in Alabama?
Do you need to probate a will in Alabama? A probate attorney can prepare the necessary paperwork so that you do not miss the five year deadline. The attorneys of Lewis, Lewis & Falkner are ready to answer your probate questions. Call us today at 205-553-5353 or come by our office in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Lewis, Lewis & Falkner, LLC. | Attorneys at Law | 2224 15th Street Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Phone: +205 553 5353 | Fax: +205 553 5593
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