Archives for December 2023

The Probate Process in Alabama What to Expect

Probate is a term that can be intimidating to many people, especially when dealing with the passing of a loved one. It involves the legal process of transferring property from a deceased individual to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. If you have a loved one who has passed away in Alabama or you’re just curious about the process, here’s a simple breakdown of the probate procedure in the state.

1. Filing the Will

If the deceased left a will, the first step in the probate process is to file it with the local probate court. This is typically done by the executor named in the will. If there is no will (this is called dying “intestate”), an administrator will be appointed by the court.

2. Notifying Creditors and Heirs

Once the will is filed and the executor or administrator is appointed, they have the responsibility to notify the deceased’s creditors and heirs. This allows the creditors an opportunity to submit claims for any debts owed by the deceased.

3. Inventory of Assets

The executor or administrator will create an inventory list of the deceased’s assets. This could include things like real estate, personal property, bank accounts, stocks, and other valuables. This inventory will be used to determine the value of the estate and distribute assets accordingly.

4. Paying Off Debts

Before any distribution can take place, the debts of the estate must be settled. This could include bills, taxes, loans, and any claims submitted by creditors. The assets listed in the inventory will be used to settle these debts.

5. Distributing Assets

Once all debts are paid off, the remaining assets are distributed according to the wishes specified in the will. If there is no will, the distribution follows Alabama’s intestate succession laws, which generally prioritize spouses, children, and other close relatives.

6. Closing the Estate

After all assets are distributed and debts are settled, the executor or administrator will file paperwork with the probate court to close the estate. This effectively ends the probate process.

Common Questions About Alabama’s Probate Process:

Is probate always required? Not always. Small estates, for instance, might bypass the probate process through simplified procedures. Additionally, certain assets that have designated beneficiaries (like life insurance policies) don’t go through probate.

How long does the probate process take? This can vary based on the complexity of the estate and any challenges or disputes. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.

Can the probate process be avoided? With proper estate planning, such as setting up trusts or designating beneficiaries for specific assets, you can minimize or even avoid the probate process.

The probate process in Alabama, like in many states, is a structured procedure meant to ensure the proper handling of a deceased’s assets and debts. It provides a legal framework for distribution to heirs and beneficiaries. Understanding the basic steps can help make the process less daunting and more navigable. If you find yourself faced with the probate process, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from an experienced divorce lawyer in Prattville or wherever you reside.


4 Great Reasons to Become Forklift Certified

When it comes to advancing in your career, the more training and certifications you have, the more employment opportunities you’ll have. Acquiring special skills and certifications is the best way to open more doors for yourself professionally, and in turn, climb the corporate ladder.

Yet that’s not the only benefit of increasing your skill set. If you work in a warehouse environment, becoming forklift certified can be especially beneficial, not only for increasing the number of employment opportunities available to you but also for other reasons you might not have considered.

If you’re looking to grow professionally and experience other benefits that extend beyond, here are some great reasons you should consider getting forklift certified.

Increased Workplace Safety

If you’re already working with a forklift, and you’re not yet certified, then this isn’t just putting yourself at risk, but also your fellow employees. Becoming certified increases workplace safety, and contributes to a more secure working environment for everyone.

Unfortunately, there are many employees operating forklifts without the proper training and certification, and this puts everyone at risk not only physically, but it could also cost your business a significant amount of money in fines.

Safety protocols are put in place for a reason, and using a forklift improperly could lead to not only injury but even death. Doing your part to keep everyone safe is a noble cause that will contribute to the well-being of everyone around you

More Work

When looking for contract work, you’ll find that employers are much more eager to hire people who have a wide variety of skills. Forklifts are commonly used in all sorts of different environments, from distribution centers to manufacturing warehouses. If you can present yourself as an employee already certified to do something they’re looking for, then you’ll find your resume will usually go on top of the pile.

Higher Earning Potential

Forklift operators almost always have a higher earning potential than entry-level positions that are not certified. The more experience you have, the more you can grow and apply for promotions, and the more motivated you show your employers you are to grow in your field.

Lastly, if management is something you’d eventually be interested in, then you’re much more likely to be considered for management if you can demonstrate that you’re willing to go the extra mile in your role.


Besides having the opportunity to grow more in your career, you also have a certain sense of pride attached to increasing your skill set. After all, there’s something to be said for taking the initiative to continue to learn and advance in your career.

Having a sense of pride about how good you are and how qualified you are to do your job is significantly worth it. This can help you not only in your professional life but also in your personal life since you’ll have an increased sense of purpose and self-worth.

4 Reasons Your Home Is So Cold

As the winter months set in, and we find ourselves bundling up to stay warm, it’s more important than ever to make your home your warm personal hater yet, for many, despite how hard they try, their home is persistently cold. With the holidays coming up, and as you look forward to spending more time in the comfort of your house, it’s important that you get your home to the ideal temperature. If you’re investigating the reason behind why your house is so chilly, here are some potential culprits you might want to consider.

Insufficient Heating System

If your HVAC system needs repair, then it’s not going to be able to keep up with the demands of the cold weather. It’s important that you look for the signs of trouble with your heating system, and if you find this is indeed the case, call our professional immediately to perform maintenance and make any other necessary repairs.

You may even determine that upgrading your system entirely to a more efficient model is the best solution for ensuring you stay warm. Beyond keeping you warm, an updated system will also significantly lower your energy bill.


Check your home for air drafts coming through the corners of windows and doorways. If you find any gaps and cracks, this is likely the reason for cold air entering your home and lowering the overall temperature. To steal these areas off, consider adding weather-stripping materials, or caulk.

Usually sealing off these drafts will help seal in the warm air and keep the cold air out, helping your homes stay significantly warmer.

Wrong Thermostat Settings

Sometimes the reason for your cold home may be as simple as your thermostat being set at the wrong temperature. Take a good look at your thermostat and make sure that it’s set in an appropriate number for your comfort. For some people, 69 degrees is simply too cold to be able to heat their entire home.

Try adjusting the settings slightly until you find that you are at a comfortable temperature without having to bundle up with scarves and sweaters.

Poor Insulation

More often than not, the cause of a cold home is poor insulation. The older your home is, the more likely it is to have insufficient insulation, in which case you might want to consider investing in insulation upgrades. This can be a pretty hefty price, however, when you compare it to extremely high energy bills over the course of the year, properly insulating your home may be well worth the cost.

Consider asking an energy expert to come in and do an audit to help you find ways you could make your home warmer with the lowest price possible.


Your Child and Household Staff: 3 Tips for Good Behavior

From third-generation plumbers to accountants, everyone hires professionals for things they can’t do properly themselves. Take household staff for instance; many times they’re the difference between a livable home and an unpleasant space that triggers stress.

And like most everything regarding your children, teaching them good manners for the benefit of the staff is your responsibility. Here are 3 tips for you!

Lead by Example

As children generally model their behavior after their parents, you want to give them direct and tangible examples to follow.


  • You want to use polite phrases in your daily conversations, saying “please” when making requests and “thank you” when receiving something
  • You don’t want to raise your voice or use harsh language. Instead, maintain a calm and respectful tone so that your children often absorb this tone you set.
  • You want to acknowledge the efforts of others, expressing gratitude openly, so that they can see firsthand the value of appreciation

For example, while shopping, thank the cashier sincerely and use phrases like “excuse me” if you need assistance and your child will likely observe and mirror these behaviors.

Consistent Reinforcement

Regular reinforcement is how you solidify good manners as a habit as children often learn through repetition and consistency.


  • You want to remind your children to use polite language and gestures regularly, especially in situations where it matters
  • You don’t want to forget to offer praise when they remember to use good manners
  • You want to frequently connect good manners to empathy

If your child forgets to say “please” when asking for something, gently remind them to use the polite phrase as much as possible. When they do remember, you want to acknowledge their good behavior with positive reinforcement to really drive things home.

Explain the “Why”

Children ask a lot of questions, and rightly so. When you help your children understand the reasons behind good manners, they’re more likely to internalize these behaviors and really carry them into various situations.


  • You want to have discussions about respect, kindness, and the impact of good manners on building positive relationships
  • You want to share stories or examples where good manners made a difference in how people interacted with each other
  • You want to create an open dialogue, encouraging questions about social behaviors and manners as many children learn through active engagement

For example, it’s a good idea to explain that saying “thank you” to a friend who shared a toy shows appreciation and makes the friend feel valued; connecting good manners to positive outcomes in their interactions with others and reinforcing the understanding of why it matters because you want them to grasp the significance.

Teaching your child good behavior is one of the top jobs of being a parent, for both their benefit and for the benefit of others.