Compassionate North Alabama Estate Planning Attorney
No one likes to consider their own mortality. Daily life provides enough struggles and minor crises without having to contemplate end-of-life decisions. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we must acknowledge that when it comes to planning for the future, one can never be too early. Fortunately, attorney Don Bevill has ample experience with Alabama’s laws governing estate planning, including the formation of wills and trusts and the myriad of components of the probate process. Regardless of where your estate currently stands, Jasper’s premier estate planning attorney will take the time to find a solution that benefits you and your family for years to come.
Drafting a will offers you the opportunity to decide who will receive your assets after you die. In the event that you die without a will, your estate will be distributed pursuant to Alabama state law, a last-case scenario easily avoided by planning ahead. An experienced Jasper estate planning attorney can help with formally nominating executors and guardians (if necessary), as well as the probate process.
Keep in mind, however, that you cannot use a will to leave property held in joint tenancy, property previously transferred to a living trust, money held in pension form and property held in beneficiary form. Attorney Don Bevill offers legal assistance ranging from basic estate plans to sophisticated family wealth planning, including irrevocable trusts, family partnerships and gifting strategies.
After you die, a variety of steps must be taken to ensure that your estate complies with state law. This process is known as trust administration, and its complexity depends upon the number and type of your assets, their total value and whether your trust includes any tax-related provisions. Living trusts may potentially help you avoid probate and reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes levied against your estate.
Alabama laws governing trust and estate planning in general are extraordinarily complex, which makes the assistance of a seasoned estate planning attorney paramount to achieving the peace of mind you and your family deserve.
Simply defined, probate is the legal process used to organize a person’s legal and financial affairs following their death. Alabama probate proceedings are conducted in the superior court for the county in which the decedent lived, and can take anywhere between 8 and 12 months to complete. Probate requires that the executor of the estate file a petition and that official notices be sent to any heirs and beneficiaries listed in the decedent’s will. The executor must also take inventory of the estate’s assets, track down creditors, pay any outstanding bills and file state and federal tax returns.
Bevill & Bevill Law Firm provides legal representation in probate administrations, post-death trust administrations and property title clearance for heirs. In most cases, such matters are handled and resolved with minimal legal assistance and provided in a cost effective manner. Give us a call and take advantage of our free initial consultation today.
In certain situations, it may become necessary to appoint an individual to be legally responsible for the personal well-being of a minor or incapacitated adult. The state of Alabama allows for the appointment of a guardian of the estate, commonly referred to as a “conservator.” In some cases, this person can also be appointed as guardian and conservator.
Keep in mind that the guardian must be personally familiar with the person (i.e. “ward”) on whose behalf she or he is acting. If the ward is a minor, the guardian will be required to assume the responsibilities of a parent and must provide for her or his education and medical care. For an incapacitated adult, the guardian must ensure that the ward’s daily needs are satisfied (i.e. meals, medication, physical well-being, etc.).
Contact Us Today to Get Started with Your Estate Plan
Having dedicated his career to assisting Jasper and North Alabama residents with estate planning cases, attorney Don Bevill knows firsthand how important it is to plan ahead and secure your future. If you are currently interested in establishing a will, trust or guardianship — or if you simply have questions regarding probate in the state of Alabama — contact Bevill & Bevill, LLC today.