Jonathan D.Watson              256.599.4113
                         ATTORNEY AT LAW

                                                                                                                                  517 Bank Street, NE, Ste. D
                                                                                                                                  Decatur, Alabama 35601

Probate of Estate
After the death of a loved one, the necessity of handling their final affairs and ensuring their last wishes are fulfilled often falls upon a surviving spouse or family member.  Jonathan D. Watson understands the difficulty that accompanies this responsibility; he helps dozens of people each year to open, administer, and close the estates of their loved ones.

Probate: What Is It?

The probate of an estate, stated simply, is the legal and judicial process of resolving the financial and legal affairs of a deceased person.  If the deceased left a Will, then the wishes and desires expressed therein will be followed as closely as the law allows.  If no Will was left, then the law of the State of Alabama provides for the administration of the individual's estate.

The Process of Probate

The probate of an estate is not what many would consider a quick process.  The law requires the estate be open for a certain period of time to allow potential creditors to submit claims.  Generally, if the estate is a simple one, then it may be opened and closed within eight months to a year.  More complex estates may require more than a year to fully administer.

A Personal Representative or Executor must be appointed to administer the terms of the Will.  If there is no Will, then an Administrator will be appointed.  Sometimes, a bond is required to protect the contents of the estate against the potential mistake, negligence, or fraud of the Executor.

Mr. Watson assists his client throughout this process, providing advice, help, and resources when needed. He assures that all requirements of the law are observed and that applicable state and federal tax laws are followed.

Getting Started

The law recognizes that the grieving process takes time.  However, the time to probate the estate of a loved one is not open-ended.  Mr. Watson is glad to answer any questions you may have about the process and to assist you in the opening and administration of the estate.

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