The Probate Judge is an elected official. He serves a six year term and serves as the ex-officio chairman of the County Commission. He also serves as an ex-officio member on various boards and agencies within the County. He is the custodian of all county funds, buildings, and inventories. He is the Chief Election Official for the county. He is responsible for certifying all candidates to be placed on the ballot, ordering all election supplies, preparing a complete voters list of registered voters, getting all election machines ready for the election, canvassing, and tabulating vote totals on all candidates, and certifying election results with the Secretary of State.
Probate Judges, like other governmental units, are faced with the responsibility of implementing sound financial management and accounting controls over the monies collected. He collects fees for various licenses, recording documents, mortgage tax, deed tax, casual sales tax, and other miscellaneous items. All funds collected by the Judge are required to be disbursed to the designated agencies each month. These agencies include state, county, city, schools, fire departments, Henry County Health Care Authority, marine police division, conservation, etc.
The Probate Judge presides over all probate court hearings which include, probate of wills, administrations, conservators, guardianships, adoptions, legitimation's, name changes, condemnations, and mental commitment hearings. He performs marriage ceremonies. The Probate Judge is required to preserve all documents, files, papers and orders, together with all attachments required by law to be recorded and filed in his office. These records become permanent records of his office. The following records are also recorded in the probate office: plats, maps, judgments, liens, deeds, mortgages, corporations, lis pendens, marriage licenses and military discharges.
The probate office has numerous duties such as among them are assessing and collecting advalorem taxes and issuing plates for motor vehicles, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, ambulances, etc. We have over one hundred fifty different tag types. We sell hunting, fishing, and boat licenses, temporary tags, replacement tags, and handicap tags and decals. This office issues driver's licenses and state and county business licenses.
The Probate Judge is audited by the Alabama State Department of Examiners on a yearly basis. He is accountable for all funds collected. He has to abide by the laws of the state of Alabama and the Ethics Commission pertaining to all functions in his office.