Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order of court and subject to the priorities stated in Section 43-8-76, a personal representative, acting prudently for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly:

Terms Used In Alabama

  • assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • decedent: A deceased person.
  • deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • person: includes a corporation as well as a natural person. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • personal property: includes money, goods, chattels, things in action and evidence of debt, deeds and conveyances. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • property: includes both real and personal property. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • subscription: include a mark when the person cannot write, if his name is written near the mark, and witnessed by a person who writes his own name as a witness, and include with respect to corporate securities facsimile signature placed upon any instrument or writing with intent to execute or authenticate such instrument or writing. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • year: means a calendar year; but, whenever the word "year" is used in reference to any appropriations for the payment of money out of the treasury, it shall mean fiscal year. See Alabama Code 1-1-1

(1) Retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper for trust investment.

(2) Receive assets from fiduciaries, or other sources.

(3) Perform, compromise, or refuse performance of the decedent’s contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as the personal representative may determine under the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may do either of the following:

a. Execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining due or the purchaser’s note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the land.

b. Deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds when paid in accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as designated in the escrow agreement.

(4) Satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted the pledges completed under the circumstances.

(5) If funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including moneys received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts, readily marketable secured loan arrangements, or other prudent investments which would be reasonable for use by trustees generally.

(6) Abandon personal property when, in the opinion of the personal representative, it is valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate.

(7) Vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy.

(8) Pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims.

(9) Hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee in connection with the security so held.

(10) Insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss, and liability and the personal representative against liability as to third persons.

(11) Borrow money without security or with security of personal property to be repaid from the estate assets or otherwise; and advance money for the protection of the estate.

(12) Effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend, renew, or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. If the personal representative holds a mortgage, pledge, or other lien upon property of another person, the personal representative may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by the lien.

(13) Pay taxes, assessments, and other expenses incident to the administration of the estate.

(14) Sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; consent, directly or through a committee or other agent, to the reorganization, consolidation, merger, dissolution, or liquidation of a corporation or other business enterprise.

(15) Enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term not to exceed one year.

(16) Allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as permitted or provided by law.

(17) Employ necessary persons, including appraisers, attorneys, auditors (who may include certified public accountants, public accountants, or internal auditors), investment advisors, or agents, even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal representative in the performance of administrative duties; act without independent investigation upon recommendations of agents or advisors; and instead of acting personally, employ one or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary.

(18) Prosecute or defend claims or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection or benefit of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of duties of the personal representative.

(19) Continue any unincorporated business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death as provided in any of the following:

a. In the same business form for a period of not more than one year from the date of appointment of a general personal representative if continuation is a reasonable means of preserving the value of the business including good will.

b. In the same business form for any additional period of time that may be approved by order of the court in a proceeding to which the persons interested in the estate are parties.

c. Throughout the period of administration if the business is incorporated by the personal representative and if none of the probable distributees of the business who are competent adults object to its incorporation and retention in the estate.

(20) Incorporate any business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death.

(21) Provide for exoneration of the personal representative from personal liability in any contract entered into on behalf of the estate.

(22) Satisfy and settle claims and distribute the estate as provided in Title 43.

(Acts 1993, No. 93-722, p. 1411, §14.)