Is Probate Necessary When There is a Will?

Is Probate Necessary When There is a Will?When dealing with the loss of a loved one, the grief can feel impossible to bear. This grief is made even more challenging when you add the pain of being held responsible for the distribution of your loved one’s assets.

Before you begin the lengthy probate process, it’s important to speak with an experienced probate attorney to determine whether or not probate is needed. In some cases, the deceased person may have set up specific trusts to avoid probate, but you won’t know until you speak with a licensed professional.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that determines what happens to an estate after the property owner dies. It is a lengthy and complex process that can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months, or even longer if the terms are contested. When maneuvering the probate process, it’s always best to seek the help of legal representation before getting started.

A probate involves determining the validity of the will (if there is one), taking inventory of the deceased person’s assets, paying off their debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets as directed by the will or by state law if there is no will.

There are four main instances that most often require the involvement of a probate. These instances include:

  1. No will was ever made.
  2. There are problems with the existing will.
  3. The will does not name beneficiaries.
  4. Probate is needed to carry out the terms of the will.

In the likely event that a probate is necessary for an estate, it is against the law to do anything with the assets until you have been appointed the executor of the estate by a probate court. While it can be incredibly difficult to take care of business after the loss of a loved one, it’s important to file with a probate court as quickly as possible to avoid late fees. Seeking legal help from a probate attorney right away can be extremely helpful in keeping things on track and getting your duties done in a timely manner.

When is Probate Not Necessary?

Is Probate Necessary When There is a Will?Many people make estate planning arrangements during their lifetime to avoid putting their loved ones through the probate process after they pass. While avoiding probate isn’t always a possibility, it can help the beneficiaries of the deceased to escape the legal fees and endless paperwork involved in the probate process.

These are the three main ways for estates to avoid probate:

  1. Setting up a living trust.
  2. Having joint tenancy in place.
  3. Living in a state like Arizona that allows for a beneficiary deed.

Work With the Best Probate Attorneys in Arizona

During such an emotional time, the probate process can feel like an overwhelming burden. At Dana and Associates, our experienced probate attorneys are here to guide and support you throughout the process. The probate process is not always a smooth one, so our job is to ensure that your duties are fulfilled and make it as painless as possible for you and your family.

Let us worry about the legalities, so you can focus on healing and moving forward. Dana and Associates, LLC is one of the top probate law firms serving clients in Arizona and California. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our highly skilled probate attorneys to see how we can help you.