Probate is the process of determining the validity of a will, providing a forum for creditors to make claims against the estate, and making a determination the proper beneficiaries of the estate.  

In Arizona, most probates are initiated as an informal process in which the necessary paperwork is submitted to the probate registrar and a Statement of Informal Probate is issued, giving the personal representative the power to administer the estate.

In some cases, a probate will begin with a formal process of petitioning the Court to determine the validity of a will or make a determination of intestacy (no will), for a determination of heirs and for appointment of a personal representative.  This is referred to as a Formal Probate, which basically means that a hearing will be set before a Commissioner to make these determinations.  Formal probate is designed for situations where the probate registrar is unable to approve an informal administration of the estate.

There are many duties imposed upon a personal representative.  You should talk with us about these responsibilities and allow us to assist you through this process.

Small Estates Administration

In certain cases it may be possible to avoid probate proceedings.

Arizona allows for the transfer of personal property by affidavit if the value of the personal property does not exceed $75,000.  This process cannot begin until 30 days after death.

If real estate is involved, title can be transferred to the proper heirs if the assessed value of the real estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $100,000.  This process cannot begin until 6 months after death.