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Mesa Probate Lawyers Answer Your Probate FAQ

Answers you can trust from experienced probate attorneys

Few cases are more challenging than those arising from the death of a loved one, and the Mesa probate lawyers from Brown & Jensen understand people have a lot of questions about the Arizona probate process.

Our legal team realizes it can be tough to get a clear grasp of Arizona probate law, but our Mesa probate attorneys are ready to help. Our Mesa legal team has extensive experience and a thorough understanding of Arizona probate law and can help you and your family during this critical and often difficult period of time.

The following are some FAQ (frequently asked questions) about the probate process in Arizona and answers to those questions from our experienced Mesa probate lawyers. Do you need help with matters involving Arizona probate? Our law firm can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Is probate required in Arizona?

Yes. Most estates in Arizona go through the probate process, and Arizona has a lengthy and often difficult set of steps to follow when handling the administration of a loved one's estate. Almost everyone leaves some kind of assets behind when they die, and whether there's an estate plan in place or not, most estates will have to go through probate before loved ones can have access to assets. If there are no estate planning documents, your loved one's estate could get tied up in Arizona probate court for a long time. Our Mesa probate attorneys have the experience, resources, and dedication to help see you through all the necessary steps, and our legal team is ready to help you during any stage of the probate process.

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What is the probate process in Arizona?

Probate is the legal process through which your debts are paid and your assets are distributed according to your Last Will and Testament. The primary objective in probate is to make sure creditors have been paid, and once that has been accomplished, the remaining assets from the estate are allocated to the appropriate legal beneficiaries. There are three major obstacles with the probate process: time, money, and privacy. Arizona probate proceedings can be costly, time-consuming, and the entire proceeding is public record. Our Mesa law firm has extensive experience helping families avoid the slow and costly Arizona probate process. Contact us today to learn how you can avoid these unnecessary expenses.

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How do you avoid probate in Arizona?

A living trust, when properly utilized, will help you avoid the pains of Arizona probate because your assets are funded into the trust during your lifetime. Living trusts are agreements created to help you ensure distributions to beneficiaries, to save estate tax, and establish a long-term distribution plan for your loved ones. Probate is costly, time-consuming, and can be a frustrating experience for your family, but it doesn't have to be. Let our experienced Mesa probate attorneys guide you through this difficult process.

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How long does it take to go through probate in Arizona?

Probate can be slow and time-consuming, as there are many actions that need to be taken by the estate's personal representative (aka executor) before loved ones can have access to the estate's assets. In Arizona, the personal representative must provide notice to inheritors and creditors within 30 days of death. Once creditors have received notice, they have four months to present a claim against the estate for unpaid debts before the probate is closed. In some scenarios, the Arizona probate process will take five or six months to complete. For others, probate can last six to eight months. In some instances, where estate litigation is needed, the process can last more than a year. Our Mesa probate lawyers are ready to advise your family through every step of the Arizona probate process so you have a clear understanding of what to do. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Is a Will enough to avoid probate?

Most people believe that having a Last Will and Testament will help them avoid probate, but that simply is not true. While a Last Will and Testament is an important part of estate planning, there is one major drawback to having all your property passed under the terms of your Will. Generally, your property will have to go through probate before your loved ones can have access to it. Moreover, Wills are often contested for a variety of different reasons. Finally, a Will won't do any good for your loved ones if they aren't aware one exists or where to find it. So, in short, no, a Last Will and Testament is not enough for your estate to avoid probate. If you need help handling a complex Arizona probate case, the lawyers from our Mesa legal team are ready to help.

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How long do I have to file probate in Arizona?

Per ARS 14-3108, probate shall not be commenced more than two years after the descendant's death, with a few exceptions. The Arizona probate process can be extremely time-consuming, which is why it's important to contact our experienced Mesa probate lawyers right away so they can guide you down the correct path. Our law firm knows how to handle complex matters involving probate, and we are ready to help you during this challenging time.

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