Answers to Your Probate Questions
We can help you avoid the serious costs of misunderstanding probate. Time, money and stress can be saved with the proper estate plan, and the attorneys at Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm can help. Here, we answer the most pressing probate questions and we can provide more detailed information on probates in Yuma, Arizona, at our law office.
Q: What Exactly Is Probate?
A: Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person passes away. The process involves proving that their will is valid, taking inventory of property, appraising property, paying debts and taxes and distributing the remaining assets as the will (or state law) directs. Probate is very time-consuming and expensive and should be avoided if possible.
Q: But I Have a Will. Isn’t That Enough?
A: No. As long as you have assets that are subject to probate, your estate will go into probate, even if you have a will. There are ways to avoid probate, such as setting up a living trust. Our attorneys are experts in estate planning and can help you set up a trust or take any other actions you may need to avoid probate.
Q: Can I Avoid Probate?
A: Yes. In Arizona, not all properties are subject to probate. For instance, real property (such as physical property) with right of survivorship, insurance policies with beneficiaries, annuities with beneficiaries, joint bank accounts, and certain property in the name of a trustee are not generally subject to probate. In addition, real property in Arizona that is assessed at $100,000 or under and personal property worth $75,000 or less are not subject to probate. If you do have property that is subject to probate, your estate goes into probate, whether you have a will or not. Ideally, with proper planning, most people can avoid having their estate go into probate when they die.
Misunderstanding probate can cost you time, money and stress. An attorney can help you properly navigate the process.
Q: If I Become Incapacitated, Won’t My Will Ensure That My Healthcare Wishes are Carried Out?
A: No. A will does not go into effect until you die. So, if you are incapacitated, your will is not in effect. In order to ensure that your healthcare wishes are carried out, you will need to execute a healthcare power of attorney, mental healthcare power of attorney and living will.
Q: I Have a Power of Attorney. Won’t That Carry Over When I Die?
A: No. Powers of attorney are terminated when you die. So if you have someone designated to handle your financial affairs while you are living, this person cannot take care of your finances upon your death. For this reason, it is important to have a good estate plan in place to ensure that your assets are handled properly.
Q: Why Should I Hire a Probate Attorney?
A: The probate process is expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, if your estate goes into probate, your wishes regarding who inherits what may not get carried out. There are several ways to handle your assets for the benefit of you and your family without your estate having to go through probate upon your death. Our attorneys can help you to navigate the complicated world of estate planning to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of in the manner that you desire.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
To learn more about probate and how Shawn D. Garner and Adam D. Hansen can use their expertise to help you avoid probate, contact our office today at (928) 783-4575 for an appointment.