Probate 

 

“For some moments in life there are no words.”
~ David Seltzer

We do not presume to understand fully the loss of your loved one or family member. We do, however, know the law and how it applies to that passing. Whether there is a Will, a Trust, or neither, certain legal responsibilities must be assessed and undertaken immediately to avoid unnecessary and costly problems in the days and weeks ahead.

We developed this brochure and distributed it to compassionate funeral home directors, benevolent medical institutions and caring financial professionals in an attempt to help you with basic information about the law and settling your loved one's estate. Should you decide that you would like to talk with us further about such matters, or would like to discuss your own need for a Will, a Living Trust, an IRA Beneficiary Trust, or other Estate Planning in Scottsdale or surrounding Maricopa County, your initial consultation will be free.

Please call us at:
800 679-6709 or 480-296-2069
Or e-mail us at:
Ben@ConnorLegal.com

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q.) What if there is no Will or Trust?

A.) A court-appointed personal representative will help distribute the assets of the deceased. We can help you determine if you can be that personal representative or whether you may require your own legal representation.

Q.) What is probate?

A.) Probate is a legal process involving the probate court, heirs and creditors to settle the affairs of the deceased’s estate. Not all estates must go through probate and we will provide you an initial analysis free of charge.

Q.) Do living trusts go through probate?

A.) No, but depending on how the trust has been prepared, there may be a need to retitle assets, determine legal rights of the surviving spouse, or take steps to assure tax opportunities are taken and tax responsibilities met. Often a sub trust must be created and disclaimers made. Assets outside the trust may require probate.

Q.) What does probate cost?

A.) While a variety of items may impact the cost—such as fees charged by a court-appointed personal representative or litigation required for a contested will—the total cost can be estimated at 3% to 5% of the estate. This, however, is only an estimate and the cost may be much lower or higher. Depending on the circumstances, we can offer a fixed agreement to assure you that our fees will not increase.

Q.) How long does probate take, and when must it begin?

A.) While it depends on how complicated the estate, the process in Arizona usually takes a minimum of five to six months. Probate must commence within two years of death. If the deceased had a Living Trust, it should be reviewed by a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Some trusts may require immediate attention to prevent the loss of a provided benefit.