If you are an executor of an estate in Arizona, it is important that you understand the probate process. There are a few rules that you need to know in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss five of the most important probate rules in Arizona. Keep these rules in mind when settling an estate in Arizona!
What Is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of determining how a person’s assets (including money, property, and other belongings) will be distributed after they die. In Arizona, probate must occur if the deceased owned any real estate or had an estate worth over $75,000 at the time of their death.
That said, it is beneficial for the family to learn the probate rules in Arizona to ensure that everything is being accounted for. Here are the 5 probate rules you should know:
Probate Rule #1: The Executor Must File A Petition
All probate proceedings in Arizona must begin with the executor filing a petition to open the estate. This petition will provide details on who is entitled to receive property from the deceased and how much they should receive. The court will review this information before deciding whether or not to proceed with the estate.
Probate Rule #2: Notification Of Creditors And Beneficiaries
Once the petition has been filed, the executor must notify all creditors and beneficiaries of the deceased. This can be done through direct mail or publication in a local newspaper.
Probate Rule #3: Estate Inventory & Appraisal
Before assets are distributed, the executor must create a list of all assets in the estate and have them appraised by an independent third party. The court will review this information to ensure that all assets are accounted for and that they are valued correctly.
Probate Rule #4: Payment Of Debts
Once the appraisal is complete, the executor must pay off any outstanding debts and liabilities of the estate. This includes taxes, medical bills, funeral expenses, and other creditors before assets can be distributed to beneficiaries.
Probate Rule #5: Distribution of Assets
The final step in probate is distributing the assets according to the deceased’s wishes. This can include cash payments, transferring real estate, and distributing personal items to beneficiaries. The executor is responsible for making sure that all assets are distributed according to the deceased’s wishes.
Other Important Rules To Know
While these five rules are the most important, there may be other aspects of probate that you need to know. It is important to be aware of state and federal laws, as well as any applicable estate tax rates in your area. Additionally, keep in mind that some states have specific time frames for filing probate paperwork, so make sure that you are following all applicable laws and regulations.
Understanding these five probate rules in Arizona is essential for any executor of an estate. If you have been assigned this responsibility, make sure that you do your due diligence and follow the rules to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Are You Looking For A Probate Attorney You Can Trust?
The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in various legal fields, ranging from probate cases to civil suits, employment disputes and family law. Our estate planning and probate law attorneys have 27 years of experience in estate planning and probate law. We believe in working with clients to resolve their reasonable legal goals. We pay close attention to detail and take the time to listen to our clients’ needs. People often do not take the time or make the effort to plan for disability and death. Many of the issues that arise can be avoided, or at least managed, with a bit of time and effort. Successful estate planning requires not only the knowledge and experience of an attorney but also work on the client’s part—especially when it comes to funding trusts and maintaining the designations of beneficiaries. We believe our clients deserve personal attention and estate plans customized to their finances, family situation, and preferences.
We also have ample experience handling matters of probate. Probate litigation processes can become lengthy and unpleasant, so hiring an experienced attorney who can handle such matters gracefully and with skill is necessary. At GillespieShields, we believe that a nuanced understanding of probate law can make all the difference in a difficult case. Contact us today for your consultation!
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