Probate is a legal process by which someone’s will is validated, thereby also granting authority to the estate executor to carry out their job. Once probate is granted, the probate court also oversees the executor’s duties and the final distribution of the estate. On their part, the estate executor must ensure that beneficiaries receive their inheritance according to the will.
While you might think that probate is a necessary process of the estate settlement journey, that’s not necessarily the case. There are many reasons why you might want to avoid the probate process:
- It can be time-consuming
- It can get expensive: In Arizona, the cost of probate can vary depending on the estate, but you can count on spending about $2,000 to $5,000 in legal fees alone if you choose to work with an estate lawyer. Simply applying for probate in Arizona already costs anywhere between $164 to over $250.
- If you are executing a will on a large estate or with multiple assets, the costs can really start to escalate.
- The probate proceedings are public. That means that all assets and liabilities associated with the estate will be available for anybody to view.
However, there are a number of strategies you can use to avoid probate in Arizona. All of these strategies have the same aim: To reduce the size of your estate, thereby taking advantage of Arizona’s out-of-court affidavit procedure, which allows estates with personal property worth $75,000 or less, as well as estates with real estate worth $100,000 or less, to be settled outside of court with an affidavit. Taking a proactive approach to estate planning can help you and your loved ones save money, time, and unnecessary frustration in the future.