Mesa, AZ Probate Attorney Helps You Settle Your Loved One’s Estate
Skilled guidance minimizes delays and reduces cost
Probate is a court-supervised process that settles the estate of a deceased person, paying debts or taxes and distributing assets according to the terms of a will or by operation of state law. Probate can be an expensive and time-consuming process, depending upon the size and complexity of the estate. Fortunately, the Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC has more than 20 years of experience providing cost-effective probate services for estates of all sizes, with or without a will. If you are facing what looks like an insurmountable task of settling a relative’s estate, we can guide you through the process, saving you time and expense.
Understanding the Arizona probate process
If the deceased left a will, probate can go quickly. As long as the will proves valid, the court can begin transferring assets to heirs as soon as creditors are paid. With particularly large estates, federal estate tax may apply.
If there is no will, the court must appoint a personal representative of the estate to settle claims against the estate and transfer assets that require court estate administration, such as real estate when the deceased was the sole owner. In this case, the personal representative receives title to the property, then must figure out how to distribute it according to Arizona law. This can lead to controversies among heirs and drag out the proceedings.
Strategies for avoiding probate in Arizona
With careful planning, however, an estate can minimize or avoid probate altogether. The living trust is one vehicle for transferring assets that avoids probate, since the assets are already transferred during the lifetime of the trustor. Other devices that transfer assets without probate include:
- Insurance policies with named surviving beneficiaries
- Retirement benefits plans with named surviving beneficiaries
- Jointly titled property
- Jointly held bank accounts
However, potential tax and liability consequences may be created by placing someone’s name on the title to your assets. It is important to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer before changing any titles.
Contact an experienced probate attorney for estate administration services in Mesa, Arizona
If you’re concerned about passing your loved one’s estate through probate, the Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC can provide the capable, cost-effective service you need. Call 480-550-9880 or contact us online. We provide free telephone consultations, and Saturday and evening appointments are available. We speak Spanish fluently.