We often get asked the question: How long is it going to take to probate my mother’s or father’s will in Alabama? The answer is: Usually at least 7 months, and sometimes 18 or 24 months depending on how complicated it is.
My name is Bill Miller. I am an estate planning and elder law attorney in Anniston, Alabama. We often get asked the question: How long is it going to take to probate my mother’s or father’s will in Alabama? The answer is: Usually at least 7 months, and sometimes 18 or 24 months depending on how complicated it is.
There is only one probate court in Calhoun County, one probate judge, and she has a lot of work to do. There are many estates that are pending at one time. There are other factors that go into how long it takes.
For example, once you file the will with the probate court in Alabama, you have to give notice to all creditors by publishing in the newspaper three times. You then have to wait six months after the last publication date. So, it takes at least seven months. If you've got heirs, or potential heirs, who won't sign their waivers or won't cooperate, who disagree with what the will says, it can take even longer. If you've got real estate involved with your estate and it takes a long time to sell the property, that can delay the probating of an estate.
There are a lot of factors that go into the length of time it takes to probate an estate in Alabama. If it goes very smoothly, then it can be done usually in seven or eight months. But again, if there are complications, people are not cooperative, then it can be 18 months. I have seen estates that have been pending for eight or ten years. That doesn't happen very often. It usually involves a lot of money, but again, depending on how cooperative everyone else is and whether you can locate potential heirs; there are a lot of people who are entitled to get notice besides just those that are named in the will. All of these things are factors that go into how long it takes to probate an estate.
To learn more about estate planning, how to avoid probate and make it easy on your family if something happens to you, click the link to receive a copy of our book on The Basics of Estate Planning in Alabama or visit events.adamsmillerlaw.com/Workshops.html to register for one of our free estate planning workshops or simply call us at 256 251-2137.