ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS-Wills, Trust, & Estates Attorney
Why do you need a Will? Because, if you don’t have a Will then Alabama has “written one” for you and — perhaps more importantly— a Will is the only way you can decide who takes care of your children when you pass.
The “Will” Alabama wrote for you is essentially called “Intestate” (i.e. without a Will) and Alabama law says in part that if you don’t have a Will then your estate (estate-primarily means all the money and property you own) will pass as follows:
- If the decedent (the person who passed away) is survived by a spouse, the following rules apply:
- If the decedent did NOT leave parents or children, the spouse gets everything.
- If the decedent was survived by parents but not by children, the spouse gets $100,000 and half (1/2) of the balance of the decedent’s estate. The decedent’s parents get the remaining half.
- If the decedent had children who are also children of the surviving spouse (all the children belong to you and your spouse), the surviving spouse gets $50,000 and one half (1/2) of the balance of the decedent’s estate. The surviving children share the other half of the balance.
- If the decedent had living children that are not the children of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse gets one half (1/2) of the estate and the decedent’s children get the remaining half.
- If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, the estate passes to decedent’s heirs at law in the following order of priority:
- Children and their descendants;
- Brothers and sisters, or, if all are deceased, nieces and nephews;
- Grandparents, aunts, and uncles or, if all are deceased, to their descendants; and
- The State of Alabama.
Additionally, if you want to choose the person who serves as the Personal Representative (the “CEO” of you Estate), creating a will enables you to do so, otherwise the “Will” Alabama wrote for you does not even ALLOW for an out of state individual to be named to serve as your “CEO”, so without a Will, if you only have out of state relatives that can serve your estate as a “CEO” , your Estate is between a rock and hard place.
BUT you can change Alabama’s “Will” to YOUR WILL and we can help!
What are some of the more prominent benefits of having us help you to write YOUR WILL (having a Will is often called TESTATE)?
- You choose who the Guardians (those who take care of the person) and or Conservators (those who take care of the property and money) of your children will be.
- You can substantially reduce both the cost and time involved with the Probate Process this is particularly important for your spouse and children.
- You can determine who and how and what your heirs get when you pass away instead of allowing the Alabama legislature (law makers) to decide.
- You can, if you want, express to generations a succinct testament/testimony of values you have found meaningful during your life. We often provide a template for you to consider that includes wisdom sayings such as the golden rule.
- Often, we find it advantageous to include a TRUST for our client in the Will itself (called a Testamentary Trust) naming a Trustee (someone who cares for your children’s property until they reach an age you decide they can handle such on their own) and Beneficiaries (usually your children and heirs who receive your property). This has so many benefits that we want to teach you about and look forward to drawing out on our whiteboard for you see with your own eyes.
Most importantly, we normally take between one (1) hour to (2) two hours to explain your Will —what you have, how to make it work most effectively, and explain other critically important information, law and steps you should consider and act upon in your daily life to avoid, in many instances Probate somewhat or altogether—thereby taking maximum care of your family instead of taking care of creditors, courts, banks, attorneys and the government, among others.
McCartha Law helps with the preparation and execution (execution means properly signing and put into effect the documents) of the following critical documents:
- Wills (Including a Testamentary Trust to take care of your children’s assets if needed)
- Living wills
- Durable power of attorney
- Health care power of attorney
- Burial Affidavits
- HIPPA Releases (to work in conjunction with the documents currently on file at your Doctor’s office – Call us to find out why you need this – It can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of frustration.)
Contact a Qualified Huntsville Wills, Probate & Estates Attorney
Do not take any chances when it comes to probate and estate planning matters in Alabama. To speak to a reputable Huntsville estate administration attorney, be sure to call us at the McCartha Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible to schedule a consultation.