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When someone dies in Arizona, with or without a will, there are several ways that their estate (property) can be managed. The first and most common way is through informal probate, which is when a will is present and is not challenged by any family members. This is the simplest form of probate and is focused on the personal representative initiating the probate process and distributing the decedent's assets appropriately.
Next, there is formal probate, which occurs when some part of the will is challenged or contested. Formal probate may be necessary if there are differing interpretations of a will, or there is question as to who is appointed the personal representative for the estate.
Formal probate may also be necessary in Arizona if there are assets or property that require more complex supervision and distribution. The formal probate process is more complicated, may involve higher costs because of legal fees, and can take longer to sort out any legal issues that the family has with the estate and its heirs.
Finally, there is supervised probate, which means every step and stage of the probate process is supervised by the court. Unlike formal probate, which may require some court hearings, a supervised probate requires the court to oversee all aspects of the process.
Supervised probate can happen if requested by any interested party, such as an heir or creditor. This type of probate often takes the longest because each step is managed by the court, including the approval of attorneys, appointing of personal representatives and distribution of assets.
So how do you know which type of probate process is right for you?
First, it's important to know that probate isn't necessary for everyone. In fact, if the decedent's personal property is under $75,000 or real estate property is under $100,000, then probate can be skipped altogether for a simplified, small estate distribution of assets.
During the probate process, the personal representative is responsible for:
While it may sound like a straightforward process, the complexities of probate, estates and assets can get tricky, which is the main reason most people try to find a probate attorney to help simplify the process.
At Arizona Probate Now, we make it easy to find the best available probate team - all at no cost to you. We work with some of the best Phoenix probate attorneys around to give our users access to affordable, compassionate and experienced legal help.
When you're ready to see if you need a probate attorney for your family, get in touch today. We're helping Phoenix, Arizona families 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
With a better understanding of what goes on during the Arizona probate process, you may still wonder if you need a Phoenix probate lawyer at all.
The answer depends entirely on the specifics of your situation, but here are a few questions you can ask to decide how complex your probate needs are:
If you answered "yes" to more than one of these questions, you may need help simplifying the probate process. To learn more about how we can help you decide if you need a probate attorney in Phoenix, contact us today for your no-cost review.
Learn more about how probate works in Arizona: