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What To Do When A Loved One Dies

Make Funeral Arrangements Did your loved one already make arrangements or leave instructions?  An experienced funeral director can be very helpful and offer a variety of helpful services, including obtaining death certificates (usually between 5 and 10 are needed). Send Out Notifications of the Death Family & Friends  Note: Failure to notify even a distant or estranged family member can…

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After Death Checklist Of Responsibilities

When a loved one dies, the last thing on your mind is how to settle their estate. Once you’ve taken the time to grieve, the task of handling their final affairs can be daunting, especially when it involves probate. As you navigate your way through process of closing accounts, settling liabilities and transferring assets, use this as a checklist to…

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Beneficiary Deed Overrides Will

Question: Prior to her death, my mom prepared a simple will outlining her wishes to divide her property equally between me and my siblings. When I was cleaning out her drawers, however, I found a beneficiary deed that purported to give me her home upon her death. Does this mean that the house is mine? Answer: A beneficiary deed is…

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Distribution of Trust Assets to Beneficiaries

In the state of Arizona, trust administration is governed by ARS Title 14 Chapter 7. Trusts are incredibly useful estate planning vehicles, but they come with a fair number of complicating factors. For most people, it’s best to draft your trust with an experienced estate planning attorney and a qualified financial advisor. Without these professionals’ assistance, transferring assets to a…

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How To Transfer a Deed of House After Death

When someone passes away, all of their assets will need to legally transfer to their beneficiaries and legal heirs. Most assets can easily transfer to beneficiaries outside of probate, but transferring real estate can be tricky. The process of transferring the deed of a house will hinge on how the house is titled. The first step is usually to procure…

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How to Become Executor of Estate After Death

An estate’s personal representative is the individual appointed by a probate judge to handle an estate’s affairs. Their responsibilities will include gathering the decedent’s assets, settling their liabilities, distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries, and ultimately closing the estate. If the decedent names a personal representative in their last will and testament, they’re referred to as an executor. If the decedent…

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What Happens If an Estate is Not Closed?

It can be emotionally challenging for families to close a loved one’s estate when they pass away. Sorting through their personal possessions, accessing their private accounts, and handling their assets is frequently delayed until the family has had time to mourn and process their loss. While the law provides time to accommodate for this, there can be significant repercussions for…

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How to Value Personal Property for Probate

In probate proceedings, the decedent’s assets can be lumped into two categories: real property and personal property. Real property includes any type of real estate, such as a house, condo, or land. Personal property generally refers to any other type of property that a person or estate may own. Personal property can include tangible assets like vehicles, art, jewelry, and…

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Do I Need to Probate If My Husband Dies?

If your husband left a will, you’re legally obligated to submit his will to the county probate court, though you’re not necessarily required to petition to open probate when you submit the document to the court. The question of whether or not probate is necessary will largely depend on the assets he left behind, and whether or not there are…

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What Assets Must Go Through Probate?

Probate is the legal process through which a decedent’s will is validated, liabilities are settled, assets are distributed to beneficiaries, and the estate is formally closed. While probate is undeniably important, it can be time consuming and costly. Fortunately, only a handful of assets are subject to probate. With proper estate planning, most (if not all) assets can be positioned…

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