Relieve the burden of estate administration
Losing a loved one is a difficult time.
It is even more stressful if you have to meet certain deadlines for the administration of their estate.
Some of the burdens can be eased if you know that your loved one’s final wishes are being carried out and their estate is being handled exactly as they intended.
We can help you:
- Understand and manage the probate process
- Administer the estate without unnecessary delays
- Protect your inheritance from creditors
What is probate and how does it affect you?
If your loved one was a resident of Arizona, if they owned personal property in excess of $75,000 or real property with a net value over $100,000, you must go through a court process called probate or probate administration to obtain ownership of your loved one’s property.
- Administration of the estate by a personal representative (aka, “executor”)
- Ensuring the proper legal documents and notices are filed with the court
- Informing heirs and beneficiaries about the estate and settling any debts
- Distributing property to the beneficiaries and heirs detailed in the will
This needs to be done in a timely manner; otherwise. there can be penalties for the personal representative of the deceased person.
If the value of the estate is under $75,000 (and there is no real property with a net value over $100,000), no probate is required and a simple affidavit process usually suffices (Small Estate Affidavit).
It is worth noting that probate is not required for living trusts. This is an important distinction and a reason why most individuals prefer to set up a revocable living trust rather than a will.
How does probate work in Arizona?
There are several steps to go through to manage the probate process in Arizona:
- First, the personal representative must file a probate petition in Arizona Superior Court
- They may also have to post a bond (some situations require this)
From here, there are three types of probate administration:
- Informal probate – this is the most common, where there are no contested elements of the probate.
- Formal probate – this is where elements of the probate are disputed; this must then go to court hearings at the Superior Court.
- Supervised probate – this is essentially halfway between the two types of probate detailed above, with some court involvement.
All types of probate require specific actions within specific timeframes by the personal representative.
- Notifying heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors of the contents of the will
- Identifying and locating the assets and making an inventory
- Providing a copy of the inventory to heirs and beneficiaries within 90 days
- Paying all necessary costs, including state and federal taxes, funeral costs, administration expenses, and any claims
- Providing all heirs and beneficiaries with a copy of the estate administration accounting
- Distributing assets as detailed in the will
How to simplify probate and estate administration
The above probate process can be burdensome even for someone with experience in it.
For most people, consultation with a probate attorney is absolutely necessary, especially when identifying and distributing the estate assets.
We’ll help you settle the estate according to Arizona law so that your loved one’s legacy is left just as intended.
Contact Us Today
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Mr. Phelps has provided exceptional work and advice. I have recommended many family and friends to Mr. Phelps because of his professionalism.
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Kent is an exemplary advocate for his clients. It is an honor to have worked with him and witness his high ethical standards.