Probate is the judicial process where the courts legally authenticate a last will and testament and appoint a personal representative to manage the estate. Probate is a lengthy and costly process that can be avoided using a trust. If a person dies without a valid last will and testament, it is said that they have died “intestate”, which means without a will. The Arizona Laws of Intestacy divide the property between spouse and family members. If there are no family members to claim the estate, then the assets are passed entirely to the state.

Informal Probate

The court supervises the probate, but there are no required court appearances. This requires an original copy of the Last Will and Testament or all the intestate heirs to agree in nominating a person or company to serve as the Personal Representative of the estate.

Formal Probate

Is where a court appearance is required to settle a dispute as to who will be the personal representative or as to the validity of the will or any other issue.