If you don’t have a will, you risk leaving your property to the state or leaving your family a mess to clean-up. A will allows you to determine how your property is distributed, instead of the probate code. A will allows you to disinherit individuals that might take otherwise. A will allows you to do away with the requirements of posting a bond and having an accounting–both expensive propositions. Therefore, save your family a lot of hassle and expense, and put your property in the hands of those you choose. Have a will drafted ASAP.
Has your spouse made a will? Did they leave you out? You may not know until they die, but if they left you out of the will you should know about the marital election. This allows you to choose what you would get under the will or to take an elective share: the lesser of all of the estate of the decease reduced by the value of your separate estate or one-third of the estate of the deceased. There’s one important caveat–you must file a petition for an elective share within six months after the will is admitted to probate. If you don’t, you waive the elective share. See Supreme Court of Alabama, Oct. Term, 2014-15, 1120848, Saylor v. Saylor.