Losing a loved one is hard enough. We're here to make probate easy.
Call the experts at JacksonWhite Law when you need an experienced and compassionate law team to guide you through Arizona’s probate process. Read below to learn more about informal probate and how we can help you through it.
What is Probate?
Probate is the official process by which the assets and belongings of a deceased person are legally distributed amongst their heirs and beneficiaries. This process occurs after any outstanding debts have been paid off, and a will usually directs it.
Usually, the will and estate planning documents that the deceased created set forth a distribution plan for the assets. Simple assets such as furniture and jewelry can be transferred to the beneficiaries. However, more significant assets such as a home or savings account cannot be transferred with a will. These larger assets often require probate.
Additionally, probate is also required if the will is being contested. Heirs who believe that an incorrect version of the will is being used have the right to contest the validity of the will in probate court.
If you are the beneficiary of an estate sent to probate, it is wise to hire an experienced probate lawyer to assist you and ensure you receive the assets you are entitled to.
What are the Types of Probate Court in Arizona?
In Arizona, there are two forms of probate: Informal and Formal.
Informal probate is for estates who have an original will, and the will is not being contested.
Formal probate is required when the requirements of informal probate are not satisfied, and a Judge is needed to resolve any disputes.
Informal probate has very little court intervention, and due to this, it is quicker and more cost-effective than formal probate. During informal probate, the court will appoint the executor listed in the will, and they will be in charge of managing and distributing the deceased’s estate.
Once the executor is named, they may disperse the assets according to the will. Since the will is not contested, the court’s only involvement is to designate the executor and to sign off on the transfer of significant assets requiring court orders.
Informal Probate Process in Arizona
The informal probate process is as follows:
- A family member, friend, or even an attorney is appointed as the administrator of the will, in the will, they will be referred to as the executor.
- A probate court validates the will.
- The deceased’s property is itemized and inventoried to ensure nothing is stolen.
- Properties and assets will be appraised.
- The selling of assets will pay off all debts or taxes held by the deceased.
- Once all debts/taxes have been paid off, the remaining assets will be distributed according to the will.
Get Help With Informal Probate in Arizona
Arizona’s informal probate laws can be complex. Even though informal probate is relatively straightforward, it still requires a number of steps, and simple mistakes may jeopardize your matter. At JacksonWhite, we have years of experience helping clients navigate the probate process, and we are ready to help you.
Call Probate Attorney Ryan Hodges at (480) 467-4365 to discuss your case today.