A Probate Attorney Can Ensure Your Wishes Are Carried Out

Many of our clients have misconceptions about the probate process. We can provide clarifications and often tell clients:

  • Having a will does not automatically ensure that your wishes will be fulfilled. A will goes into probate.
  • A power of attorney dies when you die. A will does not go into effect until you die.
  • A will cannot be used before death. For example, if you become incapacitated, your will cannot be used as a document to state your medical and financial wishes.

Find answers to frequently asked questions about probate here:

Why Should I Hire a Probate Lawyer?
Probate is a long, expensive court process. Any time the court becomes involved, the potential exists for your wishes not to be followed. Having a will only ensures that your estate will go through probate. There are ways to avoid probate which the attorneys at Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm can explain to you. One option is to create a living trust, wherein you transfer title of your assets to the trust, before you become incapacitated or die. While you are still competent and can handle your affairs, you can manage the assets of the trust. Assets in a living trust do not go into probate upon your death. For small estates (real property valued at or under $100,000 and personal property valued at or under $75,000), beneficiaries can use a small estate affidavit to claim their inheritance.

Arizona Probate Laws
Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone passes away. The process involves proving that the 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. We offer answers to common questions about probate. You can also receive more detailed information during a consultation with a probate attorney.

Is Probate Always Necessary?
In Arizona, not all properties are subject to probate. For instance, real 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. Additionally, 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. With proper planning, most people can avoid having their estate go into probate when they die.

Probate Administration
Probate is a court proceeding that takes place upon a person’s death. The court appoints a personal representative to handle the affairs of the estate. The personal representative has many mandatory duties and responsibilities such as: notifying heirs and creditors about the estate; finding, collecting and taking inventory of the deceased’s assets; paying the last expenses of the deceased; filing the last tax returns; and distributing the remaining assets to heirs.

Probate Petitions
Usually, a person’s will designates a personal representative. If there is no personal representative designated, the court will appoint a personal representative. The personal representative will then start probate by filing a petition for probate with the court. This petition is a legal proceeding asking the court to review the will to ensure that it is valid.

Probate is a long, expensive court process. Any time the court becomes involved, the potential exists for your wishes not to be followed.

Probate Disputes
Upon your death, your will is submitted to the court for probate, which is a long, complicated court process. If a family member contests the validity of the will, there may be further complications during the process. The attorneys at Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm do not represent clients for will disputes, but they will guide you through the process of finding counsel to represent you.

Learn More
With proper estate planning, you may be able to avoid your will going into probate and save your family unnecessary stress and expense. Contact us today at (928) 783-4575 to schedule a consultation with Shawn D. Garner or Adam D. Hansen and learn more about your options for probate in Yuma, Arizona.

Where Do I Start?

Watch Our Seminar

Are you unsure where to start with your estate planning? Watch our seminar video to get an overview of estate planning and receive a $200 credit at Deason Garner & Hansen Law Firm. Then give us a call and make an appointment with our attorneys in Yuma, Arizona, Shawn D. Garner or Adam D. Hansen, to get started!

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