Everything You Need to Know About Probate Law

Everything You Need to Know About Probate LawIn the world of estate planning, ‘probate law’ is a term that is tossed around often. If you type “what is probate” into a search engine, you’ll likely be met with a slew of articles advising you on how to avoid it. But why? What is probate? Why does it matter? And, why do you need to avoid it?

Unless you or a loved one has gone through the estate planning process, there’s a good chance you don’t know much (if anything) about probate law. Our team of skilled estate planning attorneys has put together this easy-to-read guide on everything you need to know about probate law.

What is the Probate Process?

Probate is the court-supervised process of administering your estate and transferring your property at death. This is done according to the terms of your will or state laws if you don’t have one. If you pass without leaving a will that names a personal representative, the state of Arizona has levels of default representatives that they appoint to serve as the executor of your estate.

Listed in order, these potential default representatives include:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving adult children
  • Some other form of a legal heir
  • A public fiduciary (a county official responsible for serving as a conservator or personal representative for those who have no one else to do so) if no one else can be appointed within 45 days of an individual’s death

Regardless of whether the estate is handled by the probate courts, this process of administering and accounting for assets has to be done. There are circumstances that allow for avoiding probate, like transferring all assets to a living trust prior to the individual’s death.

What are the Responsibilities of the Executor?

Whether named in the will as the executor or appointed by the state, there is a myriad of responsibilities that come with being the executor of someone’s estate. Some of the most common responsibilities of the executor include the following:

  • Putting together an inventory of all assets in the estate that need to be distributed.
  • Filing the last tax returns of the deceased individual and making sure that any taxes due are paid by the estate.
  • Evaluating any debts and/or claims against the individual’s estate to ensure that they are taken care of and paid, as necessary.
  • Overseeing the proper distribution of assets to the intended recipients, according to the terms of the will.

Who Practices Probate Law?

Everything You Need to Know About Probate Law

In a time of grieving, going through the probate process can be time-consuming and stressful. That’s why it’s always a good idea to hire an experienced probate lawyer. Not only will your attorney guide you through the process, but they will also make you aware of your options and ensure that you make the best choices for your specific situation.

Having a probate lawyer in your corner will give you peace of mind and support in a time where paperwork and complicated legal jargon are the last things you want to deal with.

With a skilled Arizona probate lawyer representing you, you can reduce the risk for personal liability and receive assistance if there are any issues with the estate. They can also file all required state and estate tax forms on your behalf.

Best Probate Attorneys in Arizona

Everything You Need to Know About Probate LawIf you or a loved one are in need of a skilled probate attorney in Arizona, Dana and Associates is here to help. We are a full-service law firm serving Arizona and California in the areas of probate law, estate planning, and trust administration. Through years of expertise, we have built a reputation based on trust and results.

Contact us today if you have any questions or to schedule a free consultation.