WHY A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT IS IMPORTANT
IF YOU PASS AWAY WITHOUT A WILL (“intestate”) in Alabama, the Probate Court will appoint an administrator to distribute your money and other assets according to Alabama statutory law, which means:
- You have no control over who receives your personal property or other assets
- Your spouse may end up with less assets than he or she needs to live on
- Your assets may be divided between your heirs, some of whom you may not even know
- Your grandchildren or stepchildren might not receive anything from your estate
- You will not be able to name a guardian for any minor children you may have
- You will not be able to leave certain items of property to specific persons
- You will not be able to leave contributions to a church or charity
- If the court cannot locate any living relatives of by blood or marriage, the state may end up taking title to your property.
- If you have a loved one receiving Medicaid benefits and they inherit from your estate, they could lose, at least temporarily, their eligibility for such benefits, which could be a serious problem if that loved one is being cared for by Medicaid in a nursing home.
IF YOU DIE WITH A VALID WILL:
- You can leave your property to people and organizations of your choosing and make sure that
- Your loved ones are taken care in accordance with your wishes.
- You can name a personal guardian to care for you minor children.
- You can name a trusted person to manage property you leave to your children.
- You can name the executor, who is the person who makes sure that the terms of your will are
carried out, and you can choose to waive financial bonding requirements for the executor, and also avoid the expense of a court appointed administrator, which could easily cost much more than the cost of having us prepare you Last Will and Testament.
- You can avoid misunderstandings about your intentions and hopefully prevent or at least minimize disputes over who is entitled to your assets.
- You can spell out your desired funeral arrangements.