PROBATE AND TRUST ADMINISTRATION
We can assist you with:
- Steps in Probate
- Personal Representative and Trustee Representation
- Beneficiary Representation
- Trust Administration
- Will Administration
- Guardianships and Conservatorships
If you are a personal representative in charge of overseeing the probate of a will and you need guidance regarding disputes, estate taxes or other issues, one of our experienced estate planning attorneys can help. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary and confidential consultation by calling 480.998.0999 or by scheduling a consultation online.
Bredemann & Shellander, PLC offers comprehensive probate and trust administration. We have the experience to know that the trust administration process can be complicated and challenging. We have knowledge to represent you through this difficult time and to help provide an efficient transition of assets from the decedent’s estate to its beneficiaries. We can also assist with filing tax returns and court filings.
WHAT IS A PROBATE?
Probate is the process of proving a Will’s validity in court and implementing the Will’s. The process of gathering up the assets of a deceased person, paying debts and expenses, and distributing whatever assets remain is sometimes called “settling” an estate. Not every probate process is the same. Many people hear probate and automatically think of long, grown-out court proceedings, delayed distribution of assets and lots of expensive fees. However, that isn’t always the case. In fact, most probate proceedings can be done informally and are relatively painless.
There are three types of probate: formal, informal and supervised. Formal probate requires that significant steps in the probate process to be approve by the court at a hearing at which stakeholders may raise objections and can take much longer than informal probate. Formal probate is used when there is a dispute regarding the will, among the beneficiaries of the estate, or over some aspect or asset of the estate. family members. Informal probate is how most estates are settled. The process in informal probate is normally much shorter than in formal probate. You might not even have to set foot in a courtroom. Informal probate is also relatively inexpensive. Supervised probate happens when someone who has an interest in the estate, like a family member or creditor, requests that the court supervise each step of the probate.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
The personal representative oversees the probate an estate. They are in charge of opening a probate in the correct court. The creator of the Will typically chooses a personal representative in the Will, but sometimes a judge has to step in and name a personal representative if for some reason that person nominated in the Will can’t serve or is unwilling to serve, and an alternate personal representative is not nominated.
One common way to avoid probate is to have a Living Trust. If you have only a Will many assets, may have to pass through the probate process if your assets exceed a certain value. With some strategic planning you may be able to avoid probate. If you have updated your beneficiary information on bank and retirement accounts, those assets will pass to the beneficiary at your death. Payable-On-Death (POD) and Transfer-On-Death (TOD) forms can also be used for bank accounts and securities to avoid probate and delayed distribution of these assets. In addition, any property held jointly can pass to the surviving tenant without being subject to probate when you die. There are many moving parts. For peace of mind meet with an experienced lawyer so that you have the right estate planning structures in place so that your estate settles without complications. The Lawyers at Bredemann & Shellander have the knowledge and experience to help your family through this process.
Another way to avoid probate in Arizona is by creating a revocable living trust (LINK to another page more thoroughly explaining revocable living trusts). While similar to a will, there are key differences. While a Will only springs into action when you die, a living trust can be funded during life. This means that you can place assets in the trust that can be distributed by the person you named as the successor trustee. You can still retain use and control of these assets, but they will technically be owned by the trust.
If you are a personal representative in charge of overseeing the probate of a Will and you need guidance regarding disputes, estate taxes or other issues, one of our experienced estate planning attorneys can help. Please call us at 480.998.0999 or schedule a consultation online today