The Definition of Probate
The act or process of proving a will. . . . The proof before a . . . duly authorized person that a document produced before him for official recognition and registration and alleged to be the last will and testament of a certain deceased person, is such in reality. A judicial act or determination of a court having competent jurisdiction establishing the validity of a will. . . . In American law, now a general name or term used to include all matters of which probate courts have jurisdiction.
When a person dies in Arizona, certain things must be done to administer the estate of that person, even if it is relatively small. Creditors must be paid, notices must be given, and assets must often be liquidated and distributed. Although very small estates, generally under $50,000 or $75,000, can sometimes be disposed of by affidavit, survivors are responsible for changing title, satisfying liens, and sometimes filing documents. There are often time constraints and these tasks can be confusing and distressing, especially for someone grieving a loss. In many cases, a one-time consultation with an attorney is enough to identify any potential problems, help with forms and advise on court procedures.
Those estates that require some sort of court involvement can become very complicated. Although there are a number of do-it-yourself forms, there are also a number of things that can go wrong. Sorting out the various legal requirements can be stressful and mistakes can be costly.
Ronald Zack, elder law and estate planning attorney, offers full representation and limited representation in assisting families with navigating estates through probate. We also do litigation in the event of disputes.