What is a Last Will and Testament


A Alabama Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their children’s inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representative—or co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)—to manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedent’s debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedent’s property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usually—in most states—means it must be properly witnessed, as well—not just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedent’s debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedent’s heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedent’s property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a Alabama Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they don’t, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  Alabama free information on last will and testament forms.

Alabama Last Will Paper

You can take care of your property not only during your life, but you can also take special actions to determine its fate after your death. To do this, in Alabama, you need to draw up a document called Last Will and Testament. The document can be drawn up by a person of sound mind and supported by the presence of two witnesses.

Does One Need to Compose Last Will in Alabama?

It all depends on your specific situation, but if you want your last will to be heard, then it is definitely worth it. Otherwise, the separation of your property and assets will take place according to the law and not your wishes. You can also keep your children safe or even give special instructions on how to set up a trust to care for your animals.

Another advantage of drafting this document in Alabama is that you can assign someone to be in charge of your will. Such a person is called "executor." If there is no document, then all decisions remain with the court.

While the last will action is not limited to just dividing assets, that is its primary concern. Most often, this document is used to give instructions about real estate, business assets, cars, bank accounts, art objects. In Alabama, you can also indicate your will for a guardian for your children.

How Are the Terms of a Will Accepted?

As we mentioned above, the form must be signed in the presence of witnesses. It will also not be superfluous to certify it with a notary to avoid unnecessary checks. In addition, before accepting the conditions specified in the document, you need to prove the document to the probate court. After this, the executor must pay taxes and distribute the property in accordance with the will.

It is important to note that Alabama law accepts the last will within five years of the death of the testator.

Legal Requirements to Create a Form in Alabama

This document can be drawn up by almost any citizen, but nevertheless, there are certain rules:

  1. The testator must be over 18 years of age.

  2. The testator must be of sound mind and make an independent decision on the preparation of the document.

  3. It is necessary to have the form signed by at least two witnesses, who must also be present when the testator signs the document.

  4. The testator is obliged to sign or give guidance to another person to do this for themselves.

  5. The document must be in writing.

  6. The law does not limit the circle of persons to whom property can be transferred.

Is There Something That Can't Be Included in Last Will?

Yes, under Alabama law, you cannot list certain properties on your Last Will. These include:

  • Family allowance — eligibility for this benefit remains with the living spouse (or children) living in the state;

  • Life insurance policy — the beneficiary of such a policy cannot be changed;

  • Homestead allowance — eligibility for this benefit also remains with the living spouse (or children) who lives in the state;

  • Elective spousal share

What Will Happen to the Property if Last Will Is Absent?

According to the laws of Alabama, there may be no Last Will. In this case, the assets of the deceased are transferred to the closest living relative. Usually, this is a spouse and children. If there are no children or parents, then all property goes to the spouse. By the way, the spouse always has the right to a certain share in the inheritance. The share is determined by the state court.

If there are no close relatives, then the inheritance can go further — to grandparents, siblings, and more distant relatives.

Modifying or Canceling a Document

Do not worry if you change your mind after drawing up the document and want to make changes to it or cancel its action. You can do this at any time.

To change the conditions, you need to draw up an additional document according to all the same rules. To cancel the entire document, you can destroy your Last Will.



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