A last will and testament is a legal instrument containing the instructions of a person (testator) relating to their property in the event of death, written in the manner prescribed by law.
As a precaution, it’s strongly suggested to create a will. Even when you do not have too many assets, a last will and testament can help your family situation and prove to be crucial to your household after your passing.
On this page, it is possible to get a free Alabama last will and testament form that you can fill in and print out. In addition to that, below, you can find a good amount of details about the last will preparation process and the answers to frequently asked questions.
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|Statutes||Title 43 – Wills and Decedents’ Estates; Chapter 8 – Probate Code|
|Signing requirement||Two witnesses||§43-8-131. Execution and signature of will; witnesses|
|Age of testator||18 and older||§43-8-130. Who may make a will|
|Age of witnesses||§43-8-134. Who may witness will|
|Self-proving wills||Allowed||§43-8-132. Self-proved will – Form and execution|
|Handwritten wills||Might be recognized if witnessed according to state law||§43-8-131. Execution and signature of will; witnesses|
|Oral wills||Not recognized|
1. Consider your alternatives. Prior to beginning, it is advisable to determine if you would like to use the services of a legal professional or create the entire document yourself. If you would like to make the will form on your own, pick the type you’ll go for: a handwritten will or perhaps a free last will and testament template.
2. Specify your information. Establish the testator and their details: full name and address (city, county, and state). Review the details you entered and the rest of the section, including “Expenses and Taxes.”
3. Specify the executor. Select the executor of your estate and fill out their details: full name and place of residence, which will normally be in the same state the testator lives mainly because most states impose special policies on out-of-state executors. As a safeguard, you can appoint an alternate executor of the will. That way, you will be able to ensure that even if the originally chosen executor is unable to perform their duties, there’s a second dependable person you can rely on.
4. Determine the guardian (optional). If you’ve got minor or dependent children and do not want the court to select a guardian for the kids when you’re no longer on this Earth, you can choose someone you know as a guardian for your children.
5. Indicate your beneficiaries. Now specify all those to whom you wish to leave your property, that is, your beneficiaries. Write their full names, places of residence, and your connection to them (spouse, child, friend).
6. Allocate assets. It is possible to indicate which of your inheritors gets this or that piece of property. Otherwise, the assets will be allocated evenly amongst the beneficiaries. Assets might include money for arrearage, real estate, stocks, business control, cash, as well as any physical things of monetary worth you own. Please notice that there are things that cannot be distributed in the last will, such as life insurance and joint and living will property.
7. Proceed with the witnesses putting the signatures on the document. As per Alabama Code, for any last will to be legitimate, it needs to be signed by two witnesses. It is possible to appoint somebody as a witness provided that they’re older than 18 years and are disinterested in the bequest. Think about choosing witnesses younger than you so that they will be present in the event the will is contested in court or any other problem occurs. After a complete review of each section in your last will, all parties involved (you and the two witnesses) have to fill out their full names and full addresses and sign the paper.
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The principal distinction between the two documents is that once you die, the agent you designate through power of attorney loses their official authority to manage any matters in your place. Among various power of attorney types, the two following ones are believed to be main:
An executor is someone you establish in your last will to handle your affairs after you pass on. You could assign the same person to act as an attorney-in-fact and a will executor.
Alabama statute says that a last will can be valid without getting a notary public to certify it. But, you can make your last will self-proving by attaching an affidavit to the document, and you’ll need to hire a notary if you’d like to make it happen. In the event that you make your last will self-proving, the court won’t have to make contact with the witnesses to establish the credibility of the document, which is going to expedite the probate.
A holographic will is handwritten. For it to be effective, the document has to be entirely in the handwriting of the testator, dated and signed by him or her, and witnessed according to the state law. However, these wills are usually thought of as a short-term solution. You can upgrade such last will by creating an attested one when you can use a lawyer’s support or a fillable template. A suitably outlined will is much better for the future probate process since holographic last wills might contain unclear conditions that can slow down the probate and make it more pricey and/or harder to impose.
An attested will is usually typed as it is often made by an attorney or is based upon a will template, like the one you can get from us. To be considered valid, it has to be signed by the testator and two credible witnesses over the age of 18 in the testator’s presence, which can also be done in the presence of a notary. However, the latter is not needed in Alabama.
Testamentary capacity is used to describe the testator’s (the person writing the last will) legal and mental capacity (sound mind) to write and modify their last will and testament.
In most states, to write a last will and testament, you have to be of sound mind and at least 18 years of age.
It is not strictly necessary in Alabama. But, if you wish to attach a self-proving affidavit, it’ll be rather beneficial considering that this document functions as a substitute for in-court testimony of witnesses at the time of probate.
Should you want to disinherit your marriage partner, it will be possible. Alabama is not a community property state (also known as marital property). This is a type of asset ownership presented by the law that declares that 50% of all properties and assets (including arrears) of one marriage partner is owned by another and continues to be such upon divorce. In Alabama, the law allows you to disinherit your spouse but enables your partner to have a particular minimum number of your assets.
Except for your husband or wife, Alabama law allows you to disinherit any other member of your family. That applies to your adult children (no younger than 18) and any other family members; only include disinheritance paragraphs to your will.
No, it is solely you who can amend your will. There’s one particular situation when a third party is allowed to intervene. In case you are physically unable to sign your last will, a third party is permitted to do it instead of you but only in your presence.
Yes, it is possible to alter it.
In Alabama, if you haven’t engaged in a contract saying the opposite, you are allowed to annul or alter your last will at any moment.
It’s recommended to modify your last will if a serious event happens in your life. Those include but are not limited to:
In case the will has been lost or destroyed, as per the Alabama law, the court can recognize it. But, the probate court is not likely to admit anything other than the initial version of the last will and testament to probate.
Alabama law offers a presumption that the will’s absence means it has been annulled. This puts the obligation on the advocate of the last will and testament to present proof of the said last will.
The process will get far more difficult when considering a holographic will. In order to provide proof of its validity, the court requires testimony and sword witnesses. The cause for not producing the last will and its contents has to be proven too.
Alabama Estate Code permits another person to sign your will just per your directive and with you being present. Voice communication, a positive response to a query, or a gesture are the methods you can use to express that you would like a particular person to sign your last will and testament.
You may have a notary public sign the name of a testator that is physically unable to do so in case the testator guides the notary with a witness present. Such a witness is selected much the same way one would decide on an executor – they mustn’t have any legal or equitable interest in any property that is the subject of or impacted by the last will.
|Related documents||When to create it|
|Codicil||You would like to make a single or a few small modifications to your will.|
|Self-proving affidavit||You would like to expedite the probate later on.|
|Living will||You want to express your wishes regarding the end-of-life medical care and life-prolonging measures.|
|Living trust||You want to take care of your end-of-life matters without probate.|