Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?

probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ
A probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ can confide in is a state-licensed attorney who assists and advises the Personal Representative (Executor) through the probate process of settling a deceased person’s estate. But how do you know if you really
need to hire a probate lawyer? It is not required by law, but unless you are a practicing probate lawyer yourself, there are many good reasons to consider hiring one. Below are a few questions that can help you determine if hiring a probate lawyer is the right step:

  • Is there a Will?

Any probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ swears by will often ask the same question first: Is there a Will? If the deceased had a Will, then chances are the Will states who is to serve as the Personal Representative of the Estate. If there was no Will, then a filing will need to be made with the court to determine the Personal Representative and when it comes to dealing with the court, it is often best to let an experienced lawyer handle the filing.

  • Is there Ambiguous Language in the Will?

If language in the Will could be interpreted in more than one way, get a probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ recommends involved. Failure to do so could look suspicious on the part of the Personal Representative and slow down the probate process.

  • Can Assets Pass Outside of Probate?

This will usually depend on whether the deceased set up probate-avoidance for assets before they passed. Assets that were held jointly, with rights of survivorship, or have named beneficiaries can often go straight to their new owners, bypassing probate court all together. But, if after a person dies, the assets are left with no clear owner, they will need to be a part of the probate process, which can require court filings, appraisals, distributions, etc. Best to let a probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ has faith in handle that one.

  • Is there a Business Involved?

Probate can be complicated enough when the estate only owns homes, cars, and bank accounts. Throw a business into the mix, and things can become very messy very fast. Dealing with a business as an estate asset is a job for a professional probate lawyer.

  • Is there Enough Money for Debts?

If the Personal Representative finds that there is enough money in the estate to cover the deceased’s debts and pay out to the beneficiaries- no problem. However, if the opposite is a true, then consider hiring a probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ favors to help follow the state law that gives some creditors priority over others.

  • Does the Estate Owe Taxes?

It is rare, but estates valued over $5.34 million may owe federal estate tax. Dealing with an estate that large, and dealing with federal estate taxes, can be overwhelming for an unexperienced Personal Representative. Bringing in a probate lawyer might be the right call.

  • Is Anything Being Contested?

If an heir or devisee contests any part of the probate process, seek out a probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ endorses. The right lawyer can serve as a much needed third party when things get heated and may even be able to prevent the disagreements from landing in court.

Arizona does not require a Personal Representative to have legal representation. But many still seek an experienced probate lawyer to guide them through the process. Hiring the right lawyer can help relieve the stress and complications that may arise from probating an estate.

If a family member of yours has recently passed, or if you want to learn more about how your family can avoid probate upon your passing, consider meeting with a probate lawyer. At Kamper Estrada, LLP, our experienced probate attorney can help guide you through the probate process, and help you learn how to avoid it in the future.  Call Kamper Estrada, LLP today, and talk to a top probate lawyer Phoenix, AZ has to offer.