Estate Planning: What Is Probate?
Probate is a court procedure that determines how a deceased person’s estate will be administered (distributed). The Probate process identifies and inventories the deceased person’s assets/debts, pays any applicable taxes/debts, and then distributes the remainder to beneficiaries named in the Will or to the surviving heirs.
If the deceased person left a Will, they probably nominated a personal representative, which is Arizona’s version of an executor, to administer the will. That person will be responsible for filing the probate and handling all of the probate requirements.
Probate takes place in Arizona’s probate courts. Under Arizona law, you have two years from the date of the deceased person’s passing to probate a will.
Not every estate needs to be probated. Usually, if there are no assets, then no probate is needed. There are also certain assets that typically do not require probate, such as life insurance proceeds that have a named beneficiary, annuities with a named beneficiary, or retirement plans, pensions, and IRA’s with a named beneficiary.
Have additional questions about Probate? Contact an experienced attorney at Brown & Hobkirk today for a consultation!