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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2018

Section Spotlight Jennifer Q. Griffin Section Spotlight PROBATE SECTION Have You Ever Thought to Tell the Probate Court, Thank You!? “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture Grandpa is 87 years old. He suffers from dementia, hearing loss and HE IS MEAN. He fires all the sitters I hire. He accuses me of stealing his money. He needs a guardian and conservator. My aunt is bi-polar. She is having another one of her episodes. How can I have her committed for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment? My mother died and the bank is saying I need Letters Testamentary to access my mother’s bank account. Do I need to probate mom’s will? What is the fee to record a deed? What documents do I need to file to open a Summary Distribution? Have any claims been filed in this probate case? These are just a few of the issues that the Jefferson County Probate Court handles on a daily basis. The Probate Court’s work is voluminous but desperately needed. The Probate Court’s website states that “We Are the Helping Court: Serving over 660,000 citizens, our Probate Court touches lives from birth to marriage to death.” The judges and staff not only address issues from the general public but from members of the Probate Section too. They even help as needed with the Probate Section’s annual December CLE. In recognition and in appreciation for their service, on July 13, 2018, the members of the Probate Section honored the Probate Court by hosting a Christmas in-July luncheon. This is the Probate Section’s way of showing gratitude. Thank you, Probate Court! Did you know . . . electronic wills are valid in certain states? The tried-and-true method to create a will is to put the intentions in writing and physically sign that writing with witnesses signing and a notary, if desired. You need pen, paper and, for most of us, a printer. An electronic will is a will in digital form that is electronically or digitally signed. You can use a desk top computer, an iPad or a cellphone. But, can the witnesses be on Skype? Wills are moving into the 21st Century. Although they appear to be rarely used, electronic wills have been legal 24 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2018
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