A probate may be necessary to transfer assets after the death of a loved one. We recommend you talk with an attorney and take care of your Estate Planning needs as soon as possible.
You May Need Probate If the Estate Has over $75,000 in Personal Property or $100,000 in Real Property
Your heirs may need to open a probate if your estate exceeds over $75,000 in personal property or $100,000 in real property. Probate is a legal process that occurs after a person has died to handle the distribution of their estate. The probate process can be simple if a person left a valid will or it can be complicated if a person died without a will or without a valid will.
We can help family members and executors through the probate process. From step-by-step advice on estate administration to resolving disputes if someone tries to contest the will. During the grieving process that follows the death of a loved one, allow us to help you with the task of probating a will. Call Douglas B. Price for peace of mind and advice to make sure you are handling the process correctly.
At the Law Offices of Douglas B. Price, P.C., we can help you with:
- Estates (probate)
Estate Administration of Wills and Trusts
The person who is court-appointed to ensure that a will is carried out is called an “executor” or “personal representative.” This person is usually a friend or family member, typically not an attorney.
They may never have handled such a task before, so it can be very helpful if the executor has access to an attorney to help him, her or them understand the legal duties and responsibilities that are required by the court. There are people called fiduciaries you can hire to act as an executor if you do not have anyone, or if you feel a third party would be better to do the job. The personal representative will be responsible for:
- Managing the estate of a person after death
- The heirs and beneficiaries of the estate
- Collecting debts owed to the person
- Paying debts owed by the person
- Paying taxes owed by the estate
- Distributing all remaining assets of money and property
- Preparing and completing an inventory of the estate property
As an executor, you have legal responsibilities that you may not fully understand, particularly if the estate is large. The cost of legal advice can be paid by the estate, and you can be sure that you are handling the estate properly and avoid charges of mishandling and malfeasance.
Sometimes family members are not capable of handling all the aspects of administering or dividing an estate. The estate may be large and complex. It may not be advantageous to sell some assets right away, or the estate may be held in trust, requiring trust administration services. We do a great deal of estate administration, both for in-state clients and out-of-state clients seeking an Arizona attorney to ensure that all probate details are handled in Arizona.
If you have been named the executor of an estate, you may want help with the sometimes complex and lengthy process of guiding the will through probate. Our skilled estate administration and probate attorney can help you (the personal representative) prepare and file the required probate court paperwork, including the petition, letters, inventory and legal notices for the heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors of the estate. We can arrange for payment of estate claims, distribution of assets among the beneficiaries and close the estate once the probate is complete.
Conservatorships and Guardianships
What happens when a parent or other adult relative becomes mentally and/or physically unable to manage his or her own financial affairs and/or health care decisions? Unless other provisions have been made beforehand (such as durable financial powers of attorney, living wills and health care directives), you may need to place the person's financial and physical well being into the hands of the probate court system whereby the person is made a ward of the court. This process is complicated and expensive and involves giving notice to the person and taking testimony from the person's physician, a court visitor and a special attorney appointed to represent the ward. I'm experienced in these matters and can help to represent you in the process, whether you are promoting or opposing the process.
If you have been named the trustee of a trust, you may need help with your fiduciary duties to the trust beneficiaries. Our skilled trust administration attorney can help you properly account to the beneficiaries, comply with the terms of the trust, and applicable trust law, administer trust assets and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Let us help to ease your burdens in this sometimes complicated area of law.
What If You Have Less Than $75,000 in Personal Property or $100,000 in Real Property?
You may not need a Probate if you have a small estate. You will need other legal documents to distribute the assets. We can prepare those legal documents for you at a much lower cost than a probate estate. By doing this, we can save you money.