When someone dies in Arizona, it may be necessary to probate or officially administer their estate through the court system. While it’s not required in all cases, probate proceedings are often required before assets can be transferred to heirs.
Attorney Michelle A. Booge of Dyer Bregman& Ferris, PLLC can help you understand what’s legally required for your loved one’s estate, and can help you navigate what can otherwise be a confusing and frustrating process.
When Must Estates be Administered in Court?
Not all estates, or all assets, need to go through a court estate administration process in Arizona.
Assets owned by a revocable or irrevocable trust generally do not need to be administered in court. Similarly, assets owned by two or more people as joint tenants with rights of survivorship will pass to the surviving joint tenants outside of probate court. Assets for which one or more beneficiaries were designated, such as retirement accounts or life insurance policies, are also usually exempt from probate estate administration.
Attorney Michelle A. Booge can help you identify whether, and which of, your deceased loved one’s assets must be administered through probate court.
What’s Involved in Probate and Estate Administration?
Administering someone’s estate in Arizona probate court is often a multiple-step process.
You’ll need to petition the court to open a probate estate, and provide notice to heirs and interested parties of the proceedings. As part of the process, you’ll also be asking the court to officially appoint someone as the estate executor or administrator.
The executor or administrator is responsible for inventorying and safeguarding estate assets during administration, paying valid debts, handling the final income tax return, filing returns for, and paying any estate tax obligations for the estate, and distributing assets to heirs.
Because it is a court proceeding, administering someone’s estate through the probate process takes time; it’s not unusual for administration to take a year or more. The cost involved will vary, depending on the types of assets the decedent owned, the location of those assets and the complexity of the situation. Be aware that disagreements or disputes can add to the cost and duration of the proceedings.
Phoenix probate and trust attorney Michelle A. Booge can help with the probate and estate administration process, helping ensure the orderly transfer of assets.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
To learn more about the Arizona probate and estate administration process, schedule an initial consultation with Phoenix attorney Michelle A. Booge today at (602) 254-6008.