Alabama Probate Estate

What’s the process for submitting an Alabama Will and Testament to probate?
Once the testator dies, the Will needs to be probated in order to be proved valid. This means the Will needs to be submitted to the probate court.

Who can apply?

Any of the following persons have a right to probate the Will:

  • The executor;
  • A beneficiary named in the Will;
  • Any heir;
  • The person who has custody of the original Will;
  • Any other person having an interest in the estate. (43-8-160)

Probate Time Limit

In Alabama, the last will and testament must be submitted to the court within 5 years of the testator’s death (43-8-161).

Where is the Will probated?

The probate application for an Alabama Will and Testament needs to be filed with the several probate courts in the appropriate counties, determined by the legislation as follows:

  • Where the testator resided at the time of death;
  • If not living in the state:
    • the county where the testator died and left assets;
    • if he/she did not die in an Alabama county, then the county where he/she left assets;
    • if died, not leaving assets in the state, and assets later come into any county, that county;
  • the county designated by the testator in the Will if he/she owned property there at the time of death. 43-8-162

Alabama & Federal Inheritance Tax

Estates no longer need to file an estate tax return with the Alabama Department of Revenue where the deceased died after December 31, 2004 and before January 1, 2011. Federal legislation has also repealed federal estate and gift tax. Therefore you do not need to file a Federal Estate Tax Return (Form 706) with the IRS. Estate taxes will resume in 2011.

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