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Intestate Estate Administration

Brown, et al. v. Berry-Pratt, [Ms. 1180348, June 30, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2020).  The Court (Mitchell, J.; Bolin, Shaw, Wise, Bryan, Mendheim, and Stewart, JJ., concur; Parker, C.J., and Sellers, J., concur in the result) affirms the Tuscaloosa Circuit Court’s judgment authorizing an administrator to sell real property owned of the decedent to pay expenses of administration.  The Court notes

§ 43-2-830, Ala. Code 1975, []provides:

 “(a) Upon the death of a person, decedent’s real property devolves ..., in the absence of testamentary disposition, to decedent’s heirs ....”

 ....

“(c) The devolution of a decedent’s property, real and personal, is subject to homestead allowance, exempt property, family allowance, rights of creditors, elective share of the surviving spouse, and to administration.”

Our appellate courts have considered how § 43-2-830 should be applied.  In Self v. Roper, 689 So. 2d 139, 141(Ala. Civ. App. 1996), the Court of Civil Appeals summarized the statute as follows:

“[T]itle to the real property vests upon death in the heirs as joint owners, but subject to divestment, if needed, for payment of debts of the estate or costs and expenses of administration.  Real property is left with the heirs, the persons presumptively entitled thereto, unless the personal representative shall determine that his possession of the real property is necessary for purposes of administration.”

Ms. *14.

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