Contact Walk-In Wills today for help with will and trust creation, probate, long-term care planning, and other essential estate planning needs.

The Probate Process

While probate is often associated with high expenses and drawn-out legal timelines, the process doesn’t have to be overly complex. Here at Walk-In Wills, we help residents of Chandler, AZ create effective estate plans that minimize the impact of probate. We can even help you secure the right tools to avoid probate altogether.

What Happens During Probate?

In general, executors must perform six crucial tasks during the probate process:

  1. File a Petition with the Court – To file a petition, the executor must complete essential paperwork and submit it to the court where the deceased lived. The court will also need the deceased’s will and their death certificate.
  2. Provide Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries – Next, the executor must notify all relevant parties, as well as publish a notice in the local newspaper when applicable.
  3. Gather Assets – Assets include financial accounts, vehicles, property, stocks, collectibles, and all other items. Once the assets have been inventoried, you must provide a list to the court.
  4. Settle Outstanding Debts – Executors must pay off any outstanding debts with the proceeds of the estate. The remaining funds can then be provided to beneficiaries.
  5. Provide Assets to Beneficiaries – Beneficiaries must receive assets according to the directives laid out in the will (provided funds remain after settling debts).
  6. Settle the Estate – Once all the above steps are completed, the executor can then settle the estate with the court. 

The majority of wills do go through probate. That’s why it’s so crucial to draft a valid and legally binding will. The more comprehensive a will is, the quicker and more affordable the probate process will be.

How Can You Minimize Complications During Probate?

Developing a trust can help you avoid probate, as assets held in trusts pass directly to named heirs. Similarly, some assets naturally avoid probate, including retirement accounts and life insurance policies. These assets come with beneficiary designation forms, which allow you to specify who should receive an asset and how much of it they should receive.

In order to make probate as painless as possible, we encourage you to discuss your needs with Walk-In Wills today. Our skilled estate planning attorneys can review your unique situation to help you make the best possible decision going forward.

Schedule a free consultation at our office today by calling (480) 470-7000. You can also contact us to learn more about our firm and what we can do for you.