In Arizona, probate law is only needed when a person dies without a will about his assets. The assets include both real estate property and money in cash. In the case of the will written by the decedent, all the assets are automatically transferred to the concerned parties.
On the other hand, if the issue is not settled between the heirs, a case will be filed in court. In response, the court appoints a personal representative, who will be responsible for informing all the concerned parties even by running an ad in the press. The minimum time to resolve the probate is 5 months. The time can be extended for years, depending on the case’s complexity. For further details: check out: estate administration attorneys.
Steps Involve in Probate Process in Arizona
There are different steps involved in the probate process in Arizona, but we have to sum up all of these in 5 steps. A detailed discussion of all these is given below.
- Check the validity of the Will
Sometimes, the deceased person writes a will related to all assets. So, the first and foremost step in the probate process is to check the validity of the will of the decedent. For this, the court will check the date and the sign on the wall with at least two witnesses. The mental health of the deceased person will be noticed, and the court will also make sure that the will is not written due to any influence.
- Appointment of a Personal Representative
If the deceased mentioned someone in the will as an executor, this person would be a personal representative in the case. In case of absence of the will, one of the family members files a petition in the court and asks to appoint him/her as a personal representative. The court only appoints this individual if all stakeholders agree. Otherwise, the court has the right to appoint a special administrator, to resolve the matter. The representative can also demand a reasonable amount for the services.
- Make a List of All the Assets
Now, the next step is to gather the deceased’s assets, which can be money in cash or real estate properties. For this, the personal representative can also take the help of professional appraisers to determine the exact price of these assets.
- Compose and Settle all Liabilities
After gathering all assets, the personal representative lists all liabilities. These liabilities can be debts, funeral expenses, legal fees, or any other claim. Mostly, all these liabilities are covered with liquid assets like bank accounts or money in cash.
The personal representative sells the other assets to pay the debts in case of less liquid assets. If the liabilities are more than the assets, then all are sold to pay debts as much as possible.
- Distribution of Assets Among Concerned Parties
After settling all liabilities, the next step is distributing all the assets among the concerned parties, with the court’s approval. The beneficiaries can be children, spouses, and parents of the decedent. In the absence of all these, the assets will distribute among the siblings of the decease person. Moreover, if there is no sibling, a close relative can claim the assets; otherwise, the government will take over all the assets.
What is the Difference Between Formal and Informal Probate?
For more understanding of Arizona’s probate laws, one must have an idea about formal and informal probate. The detail of these two is given below:
If no one has an objection to the will and didn’t file a petition in court, then the probate will be informal. In informal probate, personal representatives resolve all the matters in a short period without too much court supervision. Usually, such probate wraps up within 5 months of proceeding. So, one can say that these are faster as well as low-cost.
If one of the family members or other stakeholders has any objection to the will, then it is sure they will move to court and file a petition. These probates are known as formal probates and normally take a year or even longer in some cases. The court also conducts additional hearings to address objections and other issues.