Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
- Elder Law
- Estate Planning
Additional Practice Area
- Special Needs Planning
We are willing to provide a no-obligation consultation for estate planning services. We are unable to provide a fee quote until after we learn about a client's situation. If the client decides to engage us, the initial meeting is included in the total cost.
- Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Sirote & Permutt, P.C.
- Tulane University School of Law
- Pro Bono Service Certificate of Appreciation
- Alabama Access to Justice Commission
- In recognition of providing 50 or more hours of pro bono service to low income residents in Alabama
- L. Burton Barnes, III Award for Public Service
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
- - Current
- Activities: Member of the Small Firm/Solo Section
- Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
- National Elder Law Foundation
Websites & Blogs
114 Questions Answered
- Q. My husband purchased our home 4 months before we married Do I inherit our home if he dies?
- A: These situations can cause some unintended consequences in the event of an untimely death. I do not have enough facts to provide you specific advice, but I infer that your marriage may be later in life or even a second marriage. In those cases, if someone dies without a Will, the law in Alabama states that one-half of assets passes to the spouse and one-half passes to the children of any prior marriage. I am aware of several situations where a stepmother owned her home with her step-kids and it usually does not go well. Proper planning is always the solution to these issues. There are options: (1) you could be add to the deed with a survivorship clause or (2) your husband could sign a Will that directs you receive the home. Personally, I am remarried and my wife owned her home before we married. One of the first things my wife did after we married was to sign a Will to direct that I receive the home at her death.
- Q. Can a clause be written into a will that if one of the heirs contests the will they get nothing?
- A: Yes. I usually tell clients that a "no contest" or "in terrorem" clause is enforceable in Alabama, however, courts will strictly construe these clauses, meaning that the court will almost look for a reason not to enforce the clause if possible. Nonetheless, these clauses can be important because they will make someone think twice about challenging a Will. I should note that these clauses only work if you leave the individual something in the Will. Otherwise, they have nothing to lose if they decide to challenge the Will. We commonly recommend leaving them enough to make them think twice about challenging the Will, e.g., leave a beneficiary $10,000 as opposed to $10.
- Q. What can I do when executor is running up expenses?
- A: I am sorry for your loss. You can always hire an attorney to file a petition to remove the Administrator and seek to recoup expenses. However, when an Administrator closes an estate he or she must get the consent of the heirs. If the heirs refuse to consent, the probate court will hold a final settlement hearing. In other words you will be afforded an opportunity to address this spending at the end. It is during this process that you as an heir can challenge the actions (and spending) of the Administrator. The court can disallow expenses if it feels they are unreasonable. Courts generally give Administrators a lot of latitude and the cost of filing a challenge can cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, it might be a good idea to voice your concern about additional expenses with your aunt. Perhaps you discuss this issue and arrive at a solution moving forward that avoids a costly court battle (the Administrator's legal fees in defending herself are paid from the estate). Of course if you would like specific advice as to whether you should take any action, you should consult with an attorney.
Contact & Map