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Jack T. Carney

Jack T. Carney

Carney Dye, LLC
  • Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate
  • Alabama
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The focus of my law practice is helping people develop a thoughtful estate plan to better protect their loved ones in the event of death or disability. I want to use my knowledge and experience to help families avoid problems and disputes during normal life transitions. I also handle a variety of probate and trust matters, including estate administrations, guardianships and conservatorships.

General business planning is usually a part of estate planning for business owners. I often help clients get their business house in order during the estate planning process, ensuring that the proper documents are in place to ensure a smooth operation and eventual succession.

I have a particular passion for special needs planning, which is estate planning for the benefit of someone who is developmentally disabled or who may be receiving needs-based government assistance. Special needs planning can greatly enhance such an individual’s life. It is also necessary to be even more deliberate and thoughtful in a special needs plan, as we are providing for someone who will likely never be able to care for themselves.

Practice Areas
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
Additional Practice Area
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Free Consultation
    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
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  • English
Professional Experience
Sirote & Permutt, P.C.
Tulane University School of Law
Tulane University School of Law Logo
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
Professional Associations
Birmingham Bar Association
- Current
Activities: Member of the Small Firm/Solo Section
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Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
National Elder Law Foundation
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
101 Questions Answered

Q. My widowed Mother passed away in Alabama and left 135 acres of land without a wiIl. It's still in her name.
A: When someone dies without a Will, assets in their name pass to their "heirs at law." The heirs at law are determined at the time of death. Further, real property (land) vests in the heirs after two years. In your hypothetical I would suggest that the property will pass in 5 shares. The share of your deceased brother would pass according to his Will or if he did not have a Will, then according to the laws of intestacy. You may want to seek the services of a title company or a real estate attorney to sort out these ownership issues. Further, if you are dividing the property into equal shares, you will probably need to get the consent of all owners and as mentioned above the owners of your deceased brother's share may be in question. Good luck. This answer is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. I do not have enough information to provide you with an answer that you can rely upon. Please seek the services of a legal professional if you need specific guidance.
Q. In the state of Alabama if a person dies intestate and owns a home that is paid for, has one living son and one deceased
A: If a person dies intestate, that is without a Last Will and Testament, then the assets in the person's sole name pass to the "heirs at law" of that person. Assuming there is no spouse, the heirs at law are the children. If there is a deceased child, the children of that deceased child inherit the share their parent would have received had they been living. In your hypothetical and assuming there are no other family members, the home would pass 1/2 to the living son and 1/2 to the granddaughter (child of the deceased son). This answer is general in nature and is not meant to provide specific advice to your situation. If you seek specific advice or a recommendation, please consult an attorney in your area. Good luck!
Q. I have been living with a man for almost 2 years. We are not married. We just bought a house but I am not on the deed or
A: Your interest in the home may be at risk if he predeceases you. Further, Alabama law recently abolished common law marriage, so you would not have the protection of a spouse even if you hold yourself out as husband and wife. It would be best for you to protect your interest in the home, especially if you continue to make mortgage payments. If you do not take any action, the home would pass to his heirs (assuming he does not have a Will) and then you would need to spend money to sue them to recoup your mortgage payments and it could be a difficult case. You would also lose your right to remain in the home. The best option is for the two of you to decide what you want to happen to the home should he pass away and then memorialize that decision in your planning. That conversation and subsequent action is really what "estate planning" is all about. Some options include: (1) adding your name to the deed, (2) creating a debt instrument memorializing your payments or (3) having him draft a Will to direct that you receive the home in the event of his death. This answer is designed to be general in nature. No one can provide you with a recommendation without gathering additional information. If you have questions about your specific situation, please seek the advice of legal counsel in your area. Good luck.
Q. In Alabama, if a widow with no children inherited all of her late husband’s property and she dies without a will, who
A: Alabama law provides for the disposition of an individual's property if that individual dies without a Will. It is called "intestate succession." There is a specific statute that directs the disposition of property when one dies without a Will and a spouse. I pasted a copy of it below. Basically, it would pass to the decedent's next closest blood relatives per Alabama law. The statute is as follows: Section 43-8-42 Share of heirs other than surviving spouse. The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under section 43-8-41, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows: (1) To the issue of the decedent; if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent they take equally, but if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree take by representation; (2) If there is no surviving issue, to his parent or parents equally; (3) If there is no surviving issue or parent, to the issue of the parents or either of them by representation; (4) If there is no surviving issue, parent or issue of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or issue of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the issue of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased, the issue taking equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation; and the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there be no surviving grandparent or issue of grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the other half. (Acts 1982, No. 82-399, §2-103.)
Q. A car dealership sold my friends father with dementia who is not of a sound mind a $20,000 truck for $46,000
A: You can certainly consult with an attorney about various civil remedies, however, there are various new "elder abuse" statutes on the books in Alabama and some may apply to this situation. It is a crime to take advantage of an elderly, incapacitated individual. Your friend may want to file a report with her local police department or call the District Attorney for her county.
Q. ? my sister abuses my mother I watched her slap my mother four times yesterday on her birthday she 72 then I got involve
A: I am not sure if you have a specific question, but when there are incidents of physical, emotional or financial abuse of seniors (or any adult for that matter), there are resources for assistance. The first is law enforcement and if you witness physical abuse, you can call the police and file a report. The second is the Department of Human Resources for the State of Alabama- Adult Protective Services Division. For more information on this division see
Q. I am the executor of my mother's will. I am in the process of having it probated (waiting on 1 waiver)
A: The answer to your question depends on the particular facts of your situation. The issue will be whether those accounts became assets of the estate or assets of your sister at your mother's death. As Executor you will have the power and maybe even the obligation to research that issue and determine if those accounts are more properly titled in the estate. As your attorney probably told you, you do not need her waiver to become Executor (the process is just more cumbersome without it). Typically when there is a co-owner on a bank account, the account belongs to the surviving owner upon the death of the other. Alabama actually has a joint account act (see section 5-24-1 et seq, available at ) that addresses these issues. The attorney assisting you with the probate of the estate would probably be a great resource for help with this matter.
Q. dad died. Had will with children equal beneficiaries. Recently married. No mention her in will. How is property divided?
A: As mentioned below, the specific facts of the situation are so important in determining the various rights and responsibilities of the parties. For example, it may be possible the wife could claim to be an omitted spouse (see statute below), which is where the 1/2 comes from (if she is deemed an omitted spouse, she would receive the same share as if her husband died without a Will, which would be 1/2 of the estate). As you can see in the statute, there are even exceptions to that rule. Good luck. Section 43-8-90 Omitted spouse. (a) If a testator fails to provide by will for his surviving spouse who married the testator after the execution of the will, the omitted spouse shall receive the same share of the estate he would have received if the decedent left no will unless it appears from the will that the omission was intentional or the testator provided for the spouse by transfer outside the will and the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision be reasonably proven. (b) In satisfying a share provided by this section, the devises made by the will abate as provided in section 43-8-76.
Q. Can my parents transfer ownership of their home to me remain in the home and still qualify for Medicaid in 5 years
A: Your question is a common one, but unfortunately it is not simple. First, it would be worth the time, effort and expense to consult with a legal or financial advisor about this decision and how it specifically affects your parents. It could have unintended consequences and ramifications extending even beyond Medicaid and long-term care concerns. There are various factors to consider in making decisions about long-term care planning, including: the specific health of the client, the family situation, other assets, etc. In very general terms, the transfer of the home may not be necessary as the home is an exempt resource for eligibility purposes. There is also a risk in having someone other than the occupant own the home. If the third party owner gets a divorce or has a lawsuit filed against them, the home is at risk. Further, the third party owner could die and his or her heirs may not honor the agreement to allow the occupant to remain in the home. From a tax perspective, transferring the home may have unintended tax consequences (these are a hidden cost of the transfer). These include: 1. Loss of the homestead exemption, 2. Loss of stepped-up basis upon the heirs selling the property and 3. Loss of the personal residence exemption should the home need to be sold during the life of the original owners. From a Medicaid perspective, if the occupants are not paying the new "owner" a fair market value rent, then it may not be considered a true transfer and therefore the home would still be a resource for benefit purposes (even though the home is exempt as mentioned above). There are proper ways to maximize the protection of the home, but the proper technique really does depend on the various factors referenced above. Some examples include: a life estate, the caregiver child exception, the disabled child exception, the community spouse exception, etc. In elder law situations there is rarely a "one-size fits all" solution and if someone tells you that there is, turn and run away as fast as you can.
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Birmingham, AL 35243
Telephone: (205) 802-0696
Fax: (205) 969-8182