Needing an Estate in Alabama Administered for a Client Outside Alabama
A Case Study
By Dean D. Stein, CMA
A call came from a state outside of Alabama, from the mother of two minor children, both under 10 years of age. The mother had divorced the father a few years earlier, and he had stayed in Alabama. Sadly, the father of these children committed suicide some weeks earlier. He also had another attorney draft a Will, but he did not apparently understand the process, and had failed to sign the Will. With no reliable relative left in Alabama, we applied to the Court to appoint us as the Administrator of the estate of the father. We obtained a bond and posted it with the court. Then, we set about the business of collecting any and all the property of the father (decedent) and keeping it safe for the benefit of his surviving children. The father did not have much, but whatever he had, we were going to use for the children's benefit. His brother had already helped himself to his deceased brother's very old pick up truck, even though the value of it was about $300.00. Nonetheless, that $300 truck belonged to the children, and we set about to get it back for them and did so. We also sold a dilapidated parcel of real property that was a country store in the middle of no where. Lastly, the father had a tool chest and tools, and it wasn't monetarily worth a lot, but we packaged it up at the request of the mother and shipped it to her out-of-state so the children would have something of their father to remember him by. We did all of this, certainly in part for some compensation, but also because this is all the financial help this father was going to be able to provide to his children. We have handled in excess of 1,000 cases now, not all probate to be sure, but this one, and a few others, have stayed with me.
This article is generally based on Alabama law, the law of your state can vary widely. This is not intended to constitute, nor should be taken by you as legal advice and is not intended and does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Dean D. Stein, CMA, is an attorney who has a Masters degree in business and is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).