The probate court in Arizona is a court that oversees the transfer of estate of a person that passed away. Therefore, it administers the transfer of assets and ensures that debt is paid to creditors. The court also ensures that assets are distributed according to the decedent’s last will and testament or according to the state law, if the decedent did not create a will prior to their death. Probate court also validates the will prior to reviewing all assets and liabilities.
Usually, loved ones of the decedent need to go to probate court if the decedent did not create a will prior to passing away. In most cases, without a legal document that details how a person wishes to divide or disperse their assets and property, the estate can be held up in probate for months before assets can be distributed to family members. Having a will may make the process much easier for survivors once the will is validated by the courts.
In the state of Arizona, if the estate contains probate-able properties and if the value is significant enough, there is no way to avoid going through Arizona probate. According to Arizona probate, probate-able estate would have to be worth $50,000 or more. If the value is less, the family would still need to wait a minimum of six months to file an affidavit to collect the assets of the decedent. In order to speed up this process and avoid waiting the six months, you would have to file a regular probate.
In Arizona, it is more likely than not the estate will go through Arizona probate whether or not the decedent created a will. Having a will would just make the process of distributing assets of the estate a much easier process.
There are some properties that do not require the court to administer distribution of property that is held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Real property held in community property with right of survivorship, insurance policies passed directly to the beneficiary named on the policy, other assets with named beneficiaries (IRA, Retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc.) Accounts held jointly will automatically pass to the survivor. Properties held in the name of a Trustee (The trustee administers the distribution of assets held in a Trust).
Arizona Probate Timing
Arizona probate usually takes approximately six months to settle, provided that everything is in order and all assets and liabilities are accounted for and relatives are not contesting the will. It is up to the personal representative, appointed by the Arizona probate court to administer and transfer some or all of the assets to the beneficiaries according to the will or the by the law.
There are three types of probate proceedings in Arizona probate. Informal proceedings, formal proceedings, and supervised proceedings. The main difference between the three is the extent of the court’s involvement and supervision in the process. The more involved the court is required to be with the probate; the more costly it is for the beneficiaries. Informal probate is ideal for the estates where the will are uncontested and meet certain criteria’s. Whereas formal probates are for those that does not meet the necessary requirements of an informal probate or if the will is being contested. The supervised probates are for estates that require a lot of time since the estate is more difficult. This may include the need to liquidate all real property.
To ensure that your loved ones and survivors avoid a long drawn out process in Arizona probate, it is wise to be well organized and have all your assets and liabilities accounted for. This prevents the representatives from having to complete an extensive time consuming search of all assets and liabilities of the estate. Be sure to detail all distributions to each family member or beneficiaries. The less time Arizona probate representative have to