Probate is the legal process through which a person’s estate is administered after they pass away. The probate process accomplishes a number of different tasks, including transferring property to the beneficiaries of an estate, paying taxes, settling debts, and handling any disputes regarding any will that may exist. Probate occurs when there is a will or if a person passes away without a will (intestate) and can a complicated process that often takes months or even years. For this reason, many people that are involved in the probate process may want to discuss their situation with an attorney in order to ensure that their legal rights are protected. Examples of the parties with an interest in probate proceedings that could benefit from legal representation include will beneficiaries, executors, creditors, and parties who believe that they have an unrecognized interest in an estate.
The probate process can be extremely expensive and may cost an estate tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and other costs. In addition, the assets of an estate can be tied up in probate for a significant period of time, a situation that can be stressful for a person’s heirs and other beneficiaries. Consequently, many people try and avoid having their estate go through probate. There are many ways that an experienced probate attorney can help people avoid probate, including the following:
Probate disputes can arise in a variety of ways, including will contests, challenges to the actions of an executor, beneficiary disputes, and claims made by creditors. In many cases, these legal matters can be extremely complicated and have a significant impact on a person’s financial situation. As a result, it is important for anyone that is going through probate or who is considering trying to avoid probate to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
You must plan ahead and get your estate planning completed before you become so sick you are no longer of sound mind and body. Call a trust and estates attorney in Phoenix, AZ today to learn what your options are for creating an estate plan and to learn what your estate plan should include to protect yourself, your assets, and your heirs. Contact us at (602) 900-1750.