What are the Probate Laws in Arizona?

What are the Probate Laws in Arizona?Probate is the process of settling a deceased person’s estate and accounts. Probate laws vary state by state, so it’s essential to work with a local probate attorney on your case. In Arizona, probate is only a requirement for assets that did not automatically transfer after death.

If you are the beneficiary of someone’s estate, you may be entitled to an inheritance, which is a legal claim on the estate of the deceased person. However, before you file any claim against the estate, you should make sure you are aware of the probate laws in your state.

So, what are the probate laws in Arizona? Our skilled team of probate attorneys is breaking down the basics for you. To learn everything you need to know about probate in Arizona, keep reading!

What are the Different Ways to Probate an Estate?

In Arizona, there are three different ways to probate an estate: Informal Probate, Formal Probate, and Supervised Probate. Below is a breakdown of each of these ways.

Informal Probate

Informal probates are those that do not involve a dispute over the validity of the Will or an attempt to identify heirs. They are generally handled by one lawyer who manages all aspects of the case. Most probate actions are informal in Arizona, meaning they are finalized quickly and with the least amount of court involvement.

Those who are allowed to file for an informal probate proceeding in Arizona include:

  • The person named in the Will as the personal representative (PR)
  • Family members (adult child, parent, or siblings of the deceased)
  • Spouse or ex-spouse
  • The creditor of the deceased who is owed money (45 days after the death of the individual)

What are the Probate Laws in Arizona?Informal probate proceedings take approximately 45 days to complete. During this time, the PR has broad powers to administer and distribute the estate without the court’s approval.

This gives the personal representative a lot of flexibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the estate. It also means the PR may need to hire a probate attorney for advice if they are unsure about the best way to proceed.

Formal Probate

Generally, a judge will hold hearings and issue orders concerning specific matters in an estate, such as who should get which assets, where the assets should be placed, and how long the aforementioned assets will be held in a trust account.

If there is a dispute over the validity of a Will, then a hearing will be held to decide whether the decedent left a valid Will. If a person named as executor does not qualify, then the court can appoint another person to act as executor.

The executor has a lot of control and responsibility for administering the estate. In Arizona, formal probate proceedings may involve a few hearings before the court.

Here are some of the common situations requiring formal probate:

  • Dispute over the validity of a Will
  • The choice of a personal representative
  • Identification of heirs
  • An asset needs more supervision in the courts

Supervised Probate

Compared to the other types of probate, supervised probate is a more complex and expensive procedure. This occurs when an individual or entity is appointed by the court to manage assets until an heir is found or an estate is settled.

The court will appoint a personal representative, a trustee, and an administrator. Supervised probate is typically only used when the decedent died without a valid Will in place. In this type of probate, the court is much more involved in the process.

Top Local Probate Attorneys in Arizona

The probate process can be difficult to maneuver without the help of a licensed professional. At Dana & Associates, LLC, our skilled Arizona probate attorneys have helped our clients with a myriad of probate-related cases for more than 20 years.

If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you with your estate planning, probate, or elder law matters, we’d be happy to work with you. Contact our legal team today for more information or a free consultation with a probate attorney.