In Arizona, when someone dies, all their estate is listed and distributed among the beneficiaries following a legal process called probate. The process is painful and confusing for the family members, but it is better to deal with it as early as possible to face unnecessary problems in the future. This article covers all the aspects of “How Probate Laws Work in Arizona?”.
There are also some cases where the beneficiaries can avoid the court probate, like if the decedent writes a will in their lifetime. We will discuss two main ways to probate one is formal, and the other is informal. Both take different times to complete depending upon the magnitude of the estate lawyers owned by the deceased person. For complete understanding, keep reading the coming paragraphs and also visit estate administration lawyers.
Types of Probate
There are two main types of probate informal and formal. The details of these are given below:
1. Informal Probate
The procedure of informal probate is easy and completed early as compared to formal probate. If the deceased person left less than 75000 dollars, this falls in the informal probate, and in such a case, there is no need to appear before the court. The heirs have the option to distribute all the assets by mutual understanding.
2. Formal Probate
Formal probate is complicated and has a lengthy procedure compared to informal probate. Formal probate will be applicable and proceed when the estate’s value is more than $100000. The process of this probate is expensive and time-taking.
Moreover, the formal probate is supervised by a judge in the court. The court will appoint a personal representative in this case, whose duty is to gather all information about the estate and inform each person who claims for inheritance.
The Assets which can be Probate
Some assets cannot be transferred to the heirs until a judge doesn’t take a decision. Sometimes these assets are named probate assets. The assets that fall in this category are as under:
- Individual bank account of the decedent
- Personal property, such as cars, jewellery, etc
- Real property like a house or land
The Assets which cannot be Probate
- Jointly have an account with spouse, children, siblings, and parents. If one dies, the other person has the right to become the property owner automatically.
- All the life insurance policies
- Trust accounts
- Retirement accounts
How Long is the Probate Process?
Mostly, the probate process takes 4-6 months, but it can vary in some situations. The factors which affect the time of the probate process are:
- Magnitude of assets
- How quickly does the personal representative complete the procedure
- Number of heirs
- Relation of heirs to each other
- Will of the deceased
- The total liabilities
How Much does Arizona Probate Cost?
States charge some amount as a fee for the proceeding of a probate case. When we talk about the state of Arizona, it depends on the complexity and the size of assets. The legal fees is between $2000 to $5000. It can also be more if you hire an attorney or other factors.
Process of Probate in Arizona
- After the death of your loved one, the first step is to pay all their debts. Then, try to distribute all remaining assets among the heirs according to the will of the deceased.
- Without a will, try to reach an agreement by mutual understanding. In case of disagreement, file a petition in the court for probate. The court will appoint a personal representative whose duty is to gather all information about assets and inform the heirs about the court hearing. The representative is also responsible for publishing an ad in the newspaper.
- The representative can be the deceased person’s spouse, children, siblings, or parents. It will provide the detail of the assets and debts in the court. This report should be provided to all interested parties.
- Now, it is up to the court to approve the personal representative’s actions or not. In case of formal probate is granted, the representative has full authority to take all appropriate actions like distribution of the estate among the heirs and paying all the debts and expenses at the funeral of the deceased.