Alabama probate judges need more experience

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 6, 2006

To the editor:

After a very demoralizing experience trying to legitimate my daughter, I was prompted to find out just what the qualifications were to be a probate judge in Alabama.

The Code Of Alabama

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title 12 section 12-13-31 states: “A probate judge must be a citizen of the state and must have resided in the county for which he is elected or appointed for one year preceding the election or appointment.” Spartan qualifications for such an important position.

I also found out that they’re highly paid, making upwards of $70,000 a year plus a “stipend” of $2,000 to $3,000 for presiding over the various county commissions.

The responsibilities of a probate judge are not small,they are charged with resolving controversies regarding wills and estates, and changes of names of any person within the county among other things.

The general election is in November and the citizens of Dallas County are going to have to decide who’s going to be the next probate judge.

I’m not sure what the qualifications of the two candidates vying for the position are – most importantly it should be a law degree – but I hope the people of Dallas county understands the weight a probate judge carries and cast their vote accordingly.

Terry Lewis