Q: What is probate?
A: Probate is the court process that administers the terms of a Will after a person’s death. A Personal Representative (Executor) is appointed to carry out the terms of a person’s Will.
Q: How much does probate cost?
A: Often times, people believe that the state takes a portion of the estate in a probate. In Arizona, that is not true. Attorneys charge a reasonable fee to assist the Personal Representative in probating the estate.
Q: How long does probate take?
A: The probate process in Arizona takes at least four months. Probate can certainly take much longer, particularly if there is litigation.
Q: Are there ways to avoid probate?
A: Probate can be avoided in many ways, including executing a Trust and preparing beneficiary designations for certain assets.. Call us to discuss ways to avoid probate.
Q: What is estate planning?
A: Estate planning is preparing documents to ensure that your financial and physical well-being are protected at incapacity or death. Estate planning consists of preparing Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and other similar documents.
Q: Who needs estate planning?
A: Everyone should have a Will and Powers of Attorney. If you have minor children, have children with special needs, are in a second marriage, have a taxable estate, and in many other circumstances, you should have more sophisticated planning.
Q: What is a guardian/conservator?
A: When a person becomes incapacitated and cannot make decisions for themselves, the Court appoints a guardian and/or conservator for that person. A guardian makes health care decisions, while a conservator makes financial decisions. The guardian/conservator is responsible and accountable to the Court. The guardian must file an Annual Report detailing the things that have happened over the last year. The conservator must file an Annual Accounting detailing the funds that have been received and paid out over the last year.