How Much Does Probate Cost in Arizona?
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How much a probate cost in Arizona is a common questions between all our clients and potential clients. If you recently lost somebody you love, then you may be going through the probate process. Here is a guide to the probate cost in Arizona.
Did you know that more than half of all Americans do not have a will (or also know as Last Will and Testament)? Also even if you have a Will you are still subject to the Probate Process your estate may still be subject to probate.
Probate is the legal proceedings that take place after someone dies and no estate planning to avoid Probate is in place, like a Living Trust. It is, in short, ensuring that inheritance (or “estate”) and wishes of the deceased are fulfilled.
Even very straightforward probate requires legal expertise, not to mention an unhealthy amount of paperwork. Beyond navigating the nuances of the legal processes, you may be wondering “How much does probate cost in Arizona?" That will depend on the complexity of your case, as well as other factors, such as where you live in the state and you have assets outside of the estate of Arizona.
The information below will help you understand what factors impact probate costs and what you can do to plan for them. It also includes some advice on how to find assistance in planning for creating an estate planning that has instruments that can help you avoid probate. A Living Trust attorney in Chandler, Arizona can help you decide if a Trust is the right instrument for you.
Probate Cost in Arizona - Basics
Arizona requires a probate if someone owns more than $100,000 in real estate or more than $75,000 in personal property. But there are exceptions to this rule, and you must have an attorney who can navigate the probate processes.
If the deceased had a will, then the role of a probate court is to determine the validity of it and to ensure that what it specifies is carried out. If they did not have a will, then the laws of Arizona control the dispersion of the assets in the estate.
Probate costs will vary depending on where you live. There are basic filing fees and court costs that are different in each county or municipality, but you can expect them to be in the range of $300 to $350.
In addition, you will need to pay attorney fees. Most will charge hourly rates and can give you a ballpark of what it will take to complete your probate. Others offer flat fees, which can be advantageous if you are unsure how much time and work your particular case will entail.
At Citadel we work with a mix of flat fees and hourly fees. Usually the person filling for Probate will be the personal representative later. We try to minimize the upfront cost and keep the cost fixed at first, and charge it hourly after the personal representative is appointed and he or she has access to the funds associated to the probate. That way we help the family that just had a loss to spread their costs over time and control it better.
Informal vs Formal Probate
One of the biggest things that will impact the cost of probate is the complexity of your case. “Informal” probate means that you can complete the actions with minimal involvement from the court. An informal probate is of course less expensive and less time consuming that a formal probate.
“Formal” probate involves circumstances that warrant the supervision of a judge. This could be due to questions surrounding the will, confirmation of heirs, or other issues that need resolving. Since formal probate is more involved and will most likely last longer, you can expect it to be more expensive.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Probate
One of the best things you can do to anticipate probate cost is to plan. Identifying attorneys that specialize in estate planning in Chandler, Arizona, will ensure that they know local laws. And many estate planning firm that does elder law also can help you navigate health care, long-term care, retirement, and other issues for older loved ones.
Likewise, finding an estate attorney in Chandler can be beneficial even if you are younger. A reputable attorney can assist you in securing your assets and knowing that they will be dispersed according to your wishes. They can also help you address the issue of minor children, and whom will take care of them in case something unexpected happens.
Find Estate Planning in Chandler, Arizona
Now that you have an idea of the probate cost variables in Arizona, you can know what to expect. The best thing you can do is find a prominent probate lawyer or estate planning attorney to handle the ins and outs of the probate process.
If you are looking for probate lawyers in Chandler, or throughout the East Valley, the Citadel Law Firm can help. We specialize in estate planning, wills, and trusts. Whether you have straightforward probate or one that requires the intervention of the courts, we can ensure that your loved one’s final wishes are fulfilled.
And we can help you set up a Revocable Living Trust so that you can have peace of mind that your estate will be distributed the way you intend it to be. Reach out to us today to set up a free consultation, click here or call (480)565-8020.
If you want to understand when you should talk to a Probate lawyer, read this article (click here).