You are not the Father (even though you are the biological daddy)!

  We have all seen these episodes on Maury Povich but biology or DNA tests is often not the most critical element in Alabama paternity court cases. (A name listed as father on the birth certificate has even less legal significance.) For instance, in Alabama, regardless of biology, the husband is a “presumptive legal father” […]

Does your Title Insurance only protect the bank?

Forbes magazine recently published an article entitled: 12 Important Steps In Buying A Home No One Talks About. These included: Calculate What You Can Afford Access Grant Money Assistance Consider Potentially Hidden Costs Develop An Exit Strategy Consider The Buyer’s Lifestyle Needs Pick The Right Agent For You Get Home Insurance Check Permit History Set […]

Birmingham pardons for misdemeanor marijuana convictions will have wide impact

Per this report: Alabama’s largest city will issue blanket pardons for more than 15,000 people with misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1990, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said Tuesday. This will have far reaching impact beyond Birmingham. First, the convictions will now no longer be able to be used by other jurisdictions to enhance other misdemeanor Possession […]

New written disclosure rule on evictions during CDC moratorium

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post entitled: “A Landlord CAN still evict during the CDC moratorium.” However today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium which added another action landlords must take in order […]

How to avoid payment of creditors by staying outside of probate

Many clients have heard the horror stories of probate. They are desperate for a Living Trust. Often, however, a Living Trust is not best for their estate plan; the cost isn’t justified by their situation. One reason to avoid the probate process is creditors. Creditors only have access to assets of a decedent which pass […]

When NOT to probate a Last Will & Testament

  A couple of days ago I posted about why you should probate a Last Will or Administer an estate. However, today I encountered a situation in which probating was not the correct move. My client’s parent had died recently. Her father owned a small plot of land with a worn-out mobile home. He also […]

Criminal Sentencing in Alabama is . . . .Complicated.

Sometimes in Alabama, the most difficult part of a criminal case is determining what the legal sentencing range and options for particular client. Through the years, layer has been added upon layer of sentencing obligations and exceptions. In early modern times, sentencing was fairly simple. Different crimes were classified as either Class A, B, or […]

My recommendation: be sober-minded about inheritance tax changes on the horizon.

Currently, only people who own more than $11.7 million in assets and life insurance (or $23.4 million for a married couple) need to worry about estate and gift taxation, commonly referred to as an inheritance tax. At current rates, there were only 1,900 people who died in 2020 to have any estate tax liability. That is only about […]

Why probate a Last Will?

After someone dies, who owns their real estate and other stuff? In Alabama, two court processes exist to determine that question. If someone dies without a Last Will, the rules for “intestate succession” control and the process is call Intestate Estate Administration. On the other hand, if someone dies with a Last Will, the process […]