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Intestate succession in Alabama

People work throughout their entire lives in Hoover accumulating assets with the hope that they will be able to better their own lives, as well as those of their children. Yet even with the desire to benefit their future generations in their minds, many do not place anywhere near the same effort in seeing to their estate planning. In fact, according to information compiled by Gallup, as of 2016 only 44 percent of American adults even had a will. This prompts the obvious question of what happens when one dies without a will? 

If one should die without a will, his or her estate is said to be "intestate." At this point, it becomes subject to the intestate succession guidelines set forth by the state. These can be found in Sections 43-8-41-42 of Alabama's Probate Code. The decedent's surviving spouse and issue (direct descendants) are identified as his or her immediate heirs. If one has a surviving spouse but no issue, then intestate succession guidelines mandate that the entirety of his or her estate will go to surviving spouse. If there are issue (or the decedent is survived by his or her parents), the surviving spouse's share of the estate is administered as follows: 

  • The first $50,000, then one-half of the remaining estate if the surviving issue are also the issue of the surviving spouse
  • One-half of the estate if one or more of the decedent's issue are not that of the surviving spouse 
  • The first $100,000, then then one-half of the remaining estate if the decedent has no issue, but is survived by his or her parents

Do you know why indoor slip-and-fall accidents take place?

From an office building to a shopping mall to a grocery store, you never know where trouble is lurking.

The potential to be part of an indoor slip-and-fall accident is very real. For this reason, you should be careful about where you're walking and how you're avoiding trouble. 

What does Alabama's zero tolerance law mean?

For underage drinkers in Alabama who think one beer is not enough to make them a candidate for a DUI ticket, here is some bad news. The standard 0.08 blood alcohol concentration, which is the legal point of intoxication, is much lower for those under 21. For you, it is 0.02 percent.

That means that the single beer you had a little while ago could very well land you in jail, saddle you with a heavy fine and pull your driving privileges as well, according to FindLaw. To be "impaired" is not a requirement of receiving a DUI if you are under 21—if your BAC is 0.02 percent, you are deemed intoxicated, just as an older driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent.

Aspects to consider when buying commercial property

No matter the ultimate goal, purchasing commercial real estate is a major life step for most who call Alabama home. For one, there comes the challenge of finding the right property; then, many buyers hit obstacles in the inspection process. Sometimes, buyers do not know the proper questions to ask in the first place. Below are some quick tips property hunters can refer to when jumping through the hoops of this exciting process. 

42Floors shares some accessible pointers on buying and owning commercial property, first informing readers that it can be essential to know the basics. This includes the purpose of the property, what buyers might expect in the future and navigating a financial plan. Other questions potential buyers can consider include: 

  • How much work will the property take?
  • What kind of location is necessary?
  • What skills or knowledge are required to get the job done?

Things to know when buying a home

As Alabama's houses continue to increase in value, a plethora of buyers have hit the market in search of a new place to call home. Of course, there can often seem to be a million tasks to check off the list when searching for the perfect place. What are average price trends? How does one jump over the mortgage obstacles? With of all of the questions most potential buyers usually ask, there are a few pointers to help make the search for a new home a successful one.

In an article on the country's housing market, Forbes first states that research on current housing trends can be paramount to a successful house hunt. After 2008's housing market crash, there has been a general increase in housing markets across the nation, with most prices rising between 5 and 6 percent on average. Forbes also points out that, in prior years, home prices have remained at around 3 percent; therefore, recent years have reflected quite an unusual growth. One more factor to keep in mind involves location: Forbes urges readers to become acquainted with the housing market in their specific communities to best determine the right fit for a new home.

The real reason behind many car accidents

A large majority of Americans have heard it all before: never drive while tired. Nevertheless, a myriad of drivers ignore these words of wisdom and hit Alabama's roads while exhausted. While getting to work on time and running those important errands are certainly top priorities, driving drowsy can ultimately place a driver's life -- and the lives of others on the road -- in danger.

The Washington Post is quick to compare drowsy drivers with drunk drivers in an article on sleep deprivation and road safety. Using a study from the American Automobile Association, The Post goes on to share that 35 percent of Americans admit to sleeping less than the recommended seven hours of sleep. This statistic may appear to only give the sleep preferences of those surveyed, but in fact reflects a common problem among the nation's drivers today. The AAA also found that 21 percent of deadly crashes involved a driver who was sleep-deprived. This issue may become a difficult one to solve, but another contributing factor could be that of social pressure to perform everyday duties on little sleep. 

The beginning steps to selling a home

Putting a property on the market can make way for many new life changes. After all, selling a home generally indicates the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Many Alabama homeowners have found themselves at this stage, but are unsure of the many steps involved in actually selling a house. Below are some of the basics to selling a home, and the potential obstacles that sellers could face. 

Many consider the thrills of buying a home, but there is also a considerable amount of time and thought that goes into selling a home. The Today Show highlighted some of these possible hiccups in the process, first recognizing that many homeowners wait extensive periods of time before finally selling a property. One downside to this aspect involves monthly mortgage payments; it is for this reason that finding a reliable realtor is essential. Today notes that good agents will dedicate time and money toward selling a property. Renovating and updating a home can also work to a homeowner's advantage, as any special perk can increase a property's value. With this step, however, comes the potential for unexpected costs; renovations can bring many fees to the table.

Wait! Don't forget about these car insurance claim tips

Do you worry about being involved in a car accident? Are you concerned that another driver could make a mistake that results in serious injuries to you and damage to your vehicle?

Like most, you do whatever you can to remain safe on the road. This means paying attention to what's going on around you, all with the idea of avoiding a situation that could lead you to a crash.

Alabama's best housing markets

Calling Alabama home can have a number of perks; buying a home in Alabama can bring even greater joys. Countless residents in the state have made the choice of home ownership, and with good reason: many housing markets in the state are thriving. With the variety of overwhelming aspects that can come with purchasing new turf, there are some real estate details to keep in mind.

Those looking to buy a home in the Yellowhammer state may be wondering about current property taxes. The Birmingham Business Journal announced last month that, as of this year, Alabama ranked number two for the lowest property taxes in the nation. The study -- released by WalletHub, which drew information from the U.S. Census Bureau -- also reveals Alabama's real estate tax of .43 percent; for a home of $185,000, average annual taxes were $791. The median home value in the state amounted to $128,500.  

Understanding residential zoning laws

Building a home in Alabama can come with endless joys: the freedom to choose a layout plan, landscaping and interior design are only a few of the many benefits of building. With those benefits come the expected and less exciting aspect of zoning laws. Whether it is a neighbor dispute or a contract guideline, understanding the laws that govern property can easily raise confusion. By looking to the basics, builders and homeowners alike can become better informed about all parts of the process.

The Atlantic takes a less common route when looking at zoning laws in America. According to their 2015 piece on zoning codes, they stressed that such laws not only make matters challenging for developers; they also feed inequality in the country. Economists explain the growing gap between what land would cost without regulation and what it costs in reality, claiming this shift has led to a false notion of scarcity. And while the variety of zoning laws across the country can help communities in many ways, The Atlantic points out that they can also separate by means of exclusivity. 

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