When Is Probate Required in Arizona?
When Is Probate Required?
Is probate required? The death of a loved one presents many challenges for the survivors. In addition to mourning their loss, family members must determine what to do with the decedent’s things.
What Property Does Probate Include?
As mentioned, probate does not encompass all assets. Here are some of the most common:
Real estate with no transfer on death
Personal property (firearms, vehicles, valuable jewelry)
While these assets may be included in the probate estate, there are two exceptions:
1) If the decedent’s personal property does not exceed $75,000.00
2) If the decedent’s real property does not exceed $100,000.00
The law does not require probate if the decedent’s assets meet both of these requirements.
What Doesn’t Go through the Probate Process?
The non-probate estate includes assets that automatically transfer to beneficiaries. These may include the following:
Accounts with payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) beneficiaries
The proceeds from life insurance policies
Retirement accounts (as long as they have designated beneficiaries)
Property held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship
Vehicles and homes with beneficiary deeds
What’s the Alternative for Small Estates?
If the decedent’s estate does not meet the required minimums of $75,000.00 in personal property or $100,000.00 in real property, a small estate affidavit may work. According to small estate provisions, a family member must submit an affidavit with specific information with the county court. The affidavit provides a list of the decedent’s surviving family members. It also includes a copy of the will, and a list of the decedent’s assets. The affidavit may be used by the estate personal representative to transfer assets to beneficiaries once approved by the court.
The small estate affidavit allows the named personal representative access to bank accounts and authority to sell vehicles that do not exceed the required minimum values. The representative does not need an affidavit if assets meet the required minimums and do not need authorization to transfer title.
If you need help with a probate in Arizona, please call Probate Law Group at 480.535.8000. We can help.