Administration of Estates

Probate of Wills and Intestate Administration

What Is Probate?

When people talk about probating an estate they are usually talking about one of two things:  either the administration of an intestate estate, or the probate of a will.

During both of these processes a probate judge is responsible for making sure that Alabama law is followed and that the deceased person’s property is distributed correctly.

In an administration of an intestate estate, an administrator is appointed by the probate court to collect the deceased person’s property, notify creditors of the estate, pay certain claims and expenses, and then divide the remaining estate assets among the “heirs” as determined by Alabama law.

During the probate of a will, the executor named in the will is tasked with carrying out the deceased person’s wishes as they are stated in the will.

Testate vs. Intestate

If a person dies with a will, they are said to have died “testate.”  If a person dies without a will, they are said to have died “intestate.”

Executor vs. Administrator

An executor oversees a testate estate, while an administrator oversees an intestate estate.   An executor or an administrator may also be referred to as a “personal representative.”

A Probate Attorney Can Help

If you have been named as the executor in a will, or if you are eligible to be appointed as the administrator of an estate, then you should consider hiring an attorney to prepare the necessary paperwork and to help you fulfill your duties as personal representative. Estates can be complex and confusing, but you do not have to go through it alone.

An Alabama lawyer can guide you through the probate process.     Call us at 205-553-5353 or come by our Tuscaloosa office to find out what we can do to protect your assets and your family.