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When Probate Is Required – A Guide for Beneficiaries

Judge's gavel and book titled "Probate Law." Understanding when probate is required.

For some people, the probate process can be intimidating and confusing. This guide will provide a basic understanding of when probate is required and how to go through the necessary steps. By familiarizing yourself with the process, it can make the experience easier for beneficiaries of a will or estate.

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process that is used to distribute the assets of an individual who has passed away. During this process, courts and lawyers work together to ensure that the deceased’s final wishes are followed. It’s important to understand that probate can be a lengthy and complicated process. So it’s in the best interest of beneficiaries to familiarize themselves with the basics so they are able to make informed decisions throughout the process.

When Probate is Required in Arizona.

Probate is required in Arizona when a person dies and leaves behind assets that are solely owned by them and are not set up to pass automatically to a beneficiary upon their death. Probate is a legal process that allows for the distribution of a deceased person’s assets to their heirs or beneficiaries.

Under Arizona law, probate is typically required if the deceased person’s real estate has a gross value of $100,000 or more, or if they owned personal property worth more than $75,000. However, assets held jointly with right of survivorship or subject to a beneficiary deed probably pass outside of probate. Also, there are certain types of assets that can pass outside of probate, such as assets held in a living trust or those with designated beneficiaries, like life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and payable-on-death bank accounts.

If you are unsure whether probate is necessary in your particular situation, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and probate matters in Arizona. Also, see our blog “What a Probate Lawyer Does.”

Whenever there is a need to transfer ownership of property or assets that were owned by the deceased, the probate court must get involved. In some cases, it may be possible to bypass the probate process if all parties are in agreement on how to distribute the assets. However, if any disagreements arise during this process or if certain legal procedures are unclear, it may be necessary to go through with the formalities of probate.

(Also read our blog “Who Pays Probate Attorney Fees.”)

What Does a Beneficiary Have to Do?

Beneficiaries of a will or an estate have specific roles that must be carried out during the probate process. Generally, beneficiaries are responsible for providing their contact information to the executor so they can be notified of important updates related to the probate proceedings. Additionally, they may also need to provide proof of entitlement if needed, appear in court and decide how to manage any assets received through the will or estate.

How Can Beneficiaries Get the Necessary Information for Probate?

The process of obtaining the necessary information for probate varies from case to case depending on the deceased person’s individual circumstances and legal requirements. However, most beneficiaries can start the process by contacting their local probate court or a qualified attorney in the jurisdiction where the deceased lived. An experienced attorney can guide you through any complex processes related to collecting important documents and providing proof of entitlement.

What Are The Benefits of Going Through The Process of Probate?

Going through the process of probate enables transfers and transactions to be completed in accordance with the deceased’s wishes as expressed in their will. It also protects beneficiaries from fraud or theft by ensuring that all necessary paperwork, including proof of identity and authorization to access funds, has been properly handled. Additionally, when all laws have been carefully followed during probate proceedings, it can help minimize potential disputes between family members and other beneficiaries.

Let Us Help You With Your Probate!

If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to worry about is the legal process of handling their estate. Let our experienced probate lawyers take care of the legalities, so you can focus on grieving and moving forward.

At our law firm, we understand the complexities of the probate process and are dedicated to helping you navigate it with ease. Our compassionate attorneys will guide you through every step of the way, ensuring that your loved one’s wishes are carried out and their assets are distributed fairly.

Don’t let the stress of probate weigh you down. Call us today at 602-443-4888 to schedule a consultation and let us help you get through this difficult time. Our team is here to support you and provide the legal expertise you need to make informed decisions. Let us take care of the legal process so you can take care of yourself and your family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.

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