What Is Your Experience In Handling Probate Matters?

Our office has been handling probates since our inception in the mid-1970s. We have a large volume of probate matters that we handle. These range from the simple to the very complex.

Who Do You Represent In Probate Cases?

Typically, we represent the Personal Representative (Executor). If an heir would like assistance in understanding his or her rights, we represent them as well.

What Kind Of Assistance Do You Provide To Clients In The Probate Process?

We assist the Personal Representative (Executor) from start to finish. We meet with the client to discuss the process and answer any questions. We then complete all the forms necessary to start the probate process and assist them with the administration. This includes how to handle the assets, debts and the heirs. We remind the client of important dates and assist with closing the estate when everything is done. We handle this in an efficient and compassionate manner that we feel our clients deeply appreciate.

What Is Probate?

Technically it is the ‘proving of the Will’. Meaning, we give the court the will, or sometimes a copy, and provide the court the necessary information in exchange for the courts written approval for the client to act on the estate’s behalf.

If you don’t have a will, probate is still necessary. There are statutes in place that outline who is to take charge when someone dies and lists who the heirs are. While these individuals may not be who the deceased person wanted, they are who the statutes state are the important persons in the process. So, whether you have a will or not, probate may be necessary.

Is There More Than One Type Of Probate?

Yes and no. There is really just one probate but it can be handled either formally or informally. Formally means there is a hearing or hearings and informal doesn’t require any court appearances at all. There are some that start formally, with a hearing, then become informal and court appearances are no longer necessary. If there are no disputes, there is an original will, and no heir or creditor disputes arise, then most probates can be handled informally.

What Are Some Options Besides A Full Probate?

Unless the estate is under a certain size, $75,000 in total personal property and $100,000 in real estate, then everything is a full probate. If the estate does fall into these small amounts, there are procedures in place that some call a mini-probate but are actually a short procedure to collect the asset(s) and distribute to the heirs without having to go through the entire probate process.

What Factors Set The Stage For Probate To Occur?

Typically, it is when someone dies owning assets in their name. Probate is commenced in order to get someone appointed to administer the estate by collecting then distributing the assets.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About The Probate Process?

That if you have a will you don’t have to go through probate. The fact you have a will likely means you will go through probate. If you don’t have a will you will also go through probate since the statutes have created a hierarchy of who should act on behalf of the estate and who it states are your heirs, which may or may not be who you wanted.

Another misconception is that it is always complicated. While all probates require some work and effort, many go smoothly with the assistance of a capable law firm.

Why Do We Hear So Many Horror Stories About Probate?

I think a lot of these stories are the exception. Most probates go smoothly. If there are issues with heirs, the assets or debts, then it can get more complex but again, your average probate goes smoothly.

The ‘horror stories’ you typically hear about involve fighting heirs, usually because good planning wasn’t in place before they died.

What Is The Role Of An Attorney In The Probate Process?

The attorney acts as advisor and prepares the many legal forms required by the court. We answer questions and advise you of important deadlines and requirements. As issues or problems arise, we either advise the client how to handle or assist where requested. Unfortunately, probate tends to not be one of those court processes one can handle on their own. It can be complicated, archaic and easy to miss a necessary requirement and deadline. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney that has been through this process serves as a great advisor to make sure it is done correctly and smoothly.

For more information on Handling Probate In Arizona, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 345-0444 today.