If you are the nominated personal representative of an estate, or wish to open probate for a loved one who passed away in Arizona, we can assist you with every step of this process. Contact us to schedule a consultation regarding opening probate of your loved one’s estate. With or without a will, we can help.

If you are the heir of an estate and believe that the personal representative of the estate has not dealt with you fairly or by their orders from the court, you can contact us to schedule a legal consultation to discuss the matter with an attorney. We assist many clients with these matters.

Suppose a loved one has made you a trustee or beneficiary of an estate planning Trust. In that case, our firm can assist you with the trust administration or collection as a beneficiary. While many trusts will avoid the probate process, you must still process distribution according to the trust rules.

Probate of an Estate in Arizona

When a loved one passes away, many people will find it necessary to file a probate petition with the Superior Court in Arizona. The purpose of this petition is to obtain the legal authority as personal representative of the estate. The personal representative will have the authority from the court to collect and distribute real property and personal property of the decedent and distribute them to the heirs of the estate.

In estates where an original will is available, appointing a personal representative, or in estates without a will where all intestate heirs agree who should be appointed personal representative, informal probate may be available. In informal probate, the court will appoint a personal representative without the need for the appointment of a personal representative.

In estates where there is controversy, heirs that cannot be found, or if they don’t agree who should be appointed as personal representative, a petition for formal probate can be filed. Formal Probate involves a hearing and can be more complex for the personal representative.

For small estates, smaller than $75,000.00 for personal property, or $100,000.00 for real property, small estate collections are available in certain circumstances. When we learn what is included in an estate, we can discuss this simplified and more cost effective process with you if it’s an option.

For people who had property in multiple states, individual actions in each state may be required to collect all of the property of the decedent. We can assist you with coordination of other probate proceedings that will be necessary whether the primary petition will be in Arizona or in another state.

Key Arizona Probate Terms to Know

Decedent – In a probate petition, the decedent is the person who has passed away.

Personal Representative – In other states, a personal representative is sometimes called an Executor. The personal representative is the person who is empowered by the court to manage, collect, and distribute the proceeds and property of the decedent’s estate.

Last Will and Testament – A document that has been signed by the decedent to direct how their estate will be administered. In Arizona, the court wants to collect an original will bearing the wet signature of the decedent. If a will was created, but you only have a copy rather than an original, formal probate will most likely be required. Wills have additional requirements; we can review yours with you before filing with the court to see if there will be issues with the documents that you are able to provide to the court.

Heirs and Devisees – Those persons who are entitled to receive a share of the proceeds of an estate, whether there is a will or in the case of no will, those who are entitled to a share under Arizona law.

Probate Bond – In some cases, it may be necessary for the personal representative to purchase a probate bond. We can assist you in removing this requirement and cost in some cases. The Last Will and Testament may also waive this requirement.

The Probate Process

Petitioning the Court

After consultation, we will be able to advise you on the best, most cost-effective way to proceed with appointment or collection of assets. Working with an experienced probate attorney will allow you to circumvent issues that can be time consuming and costly. We can also assist you with estates where you are not the Personal Representative but need an advocate.

After Appointment

When serving as Personal Representative of an Estate, you will have several responsibilities to the court regarding the administration of the estate after appointment. We can make sure that all subsequent filings are made as well as assisting you with creditor issues and other problems that frequently come up during the probate process.

Managing Conflict

Many probate processes bring disagreements and conflicts among heirs of the estate, creditors, and others. We can assist you in navigating these, either as personal representative or as another heir of the estate. Our goal is to maximize your proceeds from the estate and ensure the fair treatment of you, our client, during the probate process.

Our Experience

Having an attorney experienced with the administration of all types of estates can help you navigate singular or unique problems as they arise. We’ve been through this process before and can help you reach a resolution quickly. We always advocate for the best outcome and to keep costs reasonable and affordable relative to the matter at hand.

Call us today (602) 848-3882