Practice Area

Probating A Will

After the death of a loved one, you have many personal matters to attend to, and you need time to process your grief. You don’t want to be studying statutory requirements and filing legal documents with the probate court. So of course, the need to handle the complexities of the Arizona probate process comes at a time when you are least equipped or motivated  to deal with the pain of these challenges.

PayneLess La​​w™ manage the probate process on your behalf. We calmly and efficiently determine your obligations and lead you through the process to avoid wasting time and money. Losing a loved one is tough, but PayneLess Law can make the probate process PayneFree for you.

What is Probate?

While probate officially refers to the process of submitting a Will for the court to verify as valid and then to appoint a Personal Representive for the Estate, the term “probate”  often refers in a more general sense to describe all the legal requirements involved in settling a deceased person’s estate after they pass away with or without a Will under court supervision. An estate needs to go through formal probate even if the deceased person did not leave a Will, but having a Will allows for a more informal process. However, whether formal or informal, probate involves the court and government rules and procedures. This translates to more money and time.

Arizona provides three different types of probate processes: Formal, Informal, and Supervised. PayneLess Law can determine whether you qualify for the informal process, but if there are concerns about the validity of the Will or the choice of personal representative, or if the estate involves other challenges, formal or supervised probate may become necessary. Regardless of the process, we guide you through from start to finish, managing as many tasks as possible directly on your behalf.

Getting Started

If you have been named as the personal representative in the Will, you have been trusted with a great responsibility. Our team at PayneLess Law can help you meet or exceed all of your obligations so that you don’t need to worry about what to do, how to do it, when to do it or whether you’ve missed a deadline.

Even though you have been trusted with a great responsibility, you cannot officially act as the personal representative or use your powers until a court reviews the Will and legally appoints you as the Personal Representative. In Arizona, these are called Letters of Appointment. So, the process of probating a Will begins by locating the original signed Will and filing it with the court along with other required paperwork for appointment of the Personal Representative. The court will assess the validity of the will and if there are no objections, the court will appoint you as the personal representative and issue letters of authorization so you can manage the affairs of the estate. This entire process, starting with filing the Will, is completely public, meaning anybody can go to the court and request a copy of the Will.

What Will Happen During Probate

The requirements of Arizona probate laws ensure that a deceased person’s creditors are paid first and that remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will. Tasks to be completed as part of the process include:

  • Inventorying all assets in the estate, determining their value, and filing records as necessary
  • Notifying potential creditors so that they can file a claim
  • Notifying beneficiaries named in the will and heirs who would inherit under the terms of the law
  • Assessing and prioritizing debts of the estate
  • Managing property to maintain value and selling assets if necessary
  • Paying debts
  • Calculating tax obligations and filing tax returns
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries
  • Filing a final accounting to close the estate

Generally, the process takes at least six months to a year to complete if there are no complications and more often than not, requires the assistance of an attorney. If the estate includes complex assets such as a business or there are challenges from an heir or creditor, the process could take considerably longer. Working with an attorney throughout the process helps minimize problems and delays, and the liability for missed deadlines.

Some Property Will Not Go Through Probate

Probate involves the management of estate property. Some property owned by the deceased person might not become part of the estate but might instead go directly to someone else. For instance, assets, including real property (like your house), that were properly transferred to your revocable or irrevocable trust before you die, will be distributed outside of the probate rules and requirements. Life insurance benefits and property held in a trust also do not go through probate but pass directly to beneficiaries. 

As another example,  if the deceased person co-owned property with someone and the deed or title specified that the ownership included a right of survivorship, then the deceased person’s share of the property passes directly to the other co-owner(s) and it never becomes part of the estate subject to probate. 

If the deceased person had a life insurance or retirement account with a beneficiary clause or a bank account with a payable on death clause, those proceeds would go directly to the person named as beneficiary, and the money would not be treated as part of the estate. 

A person might own quite a bit of valuable property and leave a very small estate if they have strategized to keep their property out of probate.

Learn About the Advantages of a PayneLess Probate Process

At PayneLess Law, we know that this time in your life can be overwhelming and painful, and we aim to make the process PayneFree to allow you to meet the obligations of probate as straightforward and simple as possible. If you are dealing with the estate of a loved one or have been named the Personal Representative in a Will, call us at 480-420-7199 or contact us online to learn how we can manage the painful probate process for you. 

PayneLess Law Helps You Plan for Tomorrow with Confidence

Taking the step to establish a living will and other advanced directives is a profound expression of care for yourself and your loved ones. At PayneLess Law, we’re here to provide the guidance and support you need to navigate these important decisions with confidence and ease. Once completed, we can assist you with submitting your documents to the appropriate registry so that your healthcare decisions will be readily available to any healthcare provider in an emergency.

Contact PayneLess Law at 480-420-7199 or schedule a free consultation to learn how to plan for your healthcare decisions today. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your wishes are clearly articulated and respected, offering you peace of mind for the future.

Contact Us

Ready to start planning your legacy? Connect with us today to begin the journey towards a secure, well-planned future for you and your loved ones.

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Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm