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 the Deason Garner Law Firm can help. Here, we answer the most pressing probate questions and we can provide more detailed information at our Yuma, AZ, 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. The attorneys at the Deason Garner Law Firm 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.
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 Health Care Power of Attorney, Mental Health Care 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.
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“After researching estate planning, my husband and I contacted Deason Garner Law Firm and were pleasantly surprised at the relative ease of setting up a Living Trust. All of the personnel we met at the firm, including but not limited to, Adam and Ashley, went above and beyond their assigned duties to make this happen for us. We feel confident in their expertise in this area and feel that we have made two new friends in Yuma! Thank you!” K. Knight