If you have been named the executor of an estate in the will of a deceased individual, chances are you are going to have to go to probate court. Probate court is the process by which a will is administered in Alabama and in most other states. Before the assets listed in a will can pass to a decedent’s beneficiaries, they have to be subjected to probate. Probate can be an expensive and time-consuming process if it’s handled poorly.
The Role of the Personal Representative
Being named a personal representative or other fiduciary is a great honor but one that comes with great responsibilities. The person who so appointed you obviously held you in high esteem; however, they probably neglected to tell you what probate is all about. In the eyes of the law, probate is only partially about ensuring that a decedent’s heirs receive the property they are due. Instead, probate is mostly about honoring creditors’ claims. In fact, it is only after all relevant creditors have been notified and any outstanding debts honored that the remainder of an estate is permitted to pass to the deceased’s heirs.
The personal representative is responsible for accounting for and gathering the assets of the deceased, notifying creditors of the death and paying them appropriately according to the debt they are owed, and – finally – seeing that any remaining assets reach the deceased’s heirs in accordance with the instructions in the will. What’s more, they are expected to do this in compliance with state and federal law while simultaneously protecting the estate from fraud and doing their best to minimize their own costs. By working with a seasoned Huntsville probate lawyer during this time, executors can be sure they are doing everything possible to safeguard the estate as well as their own pocketbook.
Let an Experienced Probate Attorney Help You Carry Out Your Fiduciary Obligations
Although it’s not necessary to work with a probate attorney to administer a will, doing so can help you protect the rights and interests of the deceased’s family and your own. Predatory creditors don’t think twice about exaggerating debt they are owed or fabricating it altogether. First-time executors may be are poorly-equipped to recognize such acts of bad faith, and the worth of an estate can be easily decimated as a result.
As your probate lawyer, we’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure that you don’t become a victim of fraud or misrepresentation at the hands of lenders so that homes, vehicles, jewelry, and other assets can remain in the family where they probably belong. Call Secure Law, P.C. to get help securing the fruits of a lifetime and find out why we have the name we do!