Chandler, Arizona is a suburb of Phoenix, population as of September 2012 was estimated at 239,610. Chandler Arizona has an influential role in city growth with Intel, including its first factory to be designated “environmentally sustainable.” Chandler is named after Dr. Alexander John Chandler who was the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona. In 1891 Dr. Chandler acquired 18,000 acres of land by 1913, a town center had become established, and Chandler had the first golf resort in the state. In 2010 Chandler was named an all American city by the National Civic League, a prestigious honor and the only Arizona winner. Chandler celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process by which a person’s estate is distributed upon their death. After someone dies, their property must be distributed according to their will to their named beneficiaries. If the individual did not devise a will, their estate must be distributed according to state law. Either way, it is the very process of distribution that the term probate refers to. There are advantages to avoiding probate because the process itself can become very costly, it can take a great deal of time (at least 4 months but usually more), and probate sometimes results in the distribution of an individual’s assets in ways that do not conform to their wishes.
How Can I Avoid Probate?
Depending on your personal situation, a knowledgeable probate attorney may be able to administer an estate in an informal way and avoid court. An informal proceeding is available when the will is uncontested (no one is claiming the will is incorrect), and the will and execution have met specific requirements. In the event there is no will or the will is contested, then avoiding court is not a possibility.
However, executing a revocable living trust is a great way to avoid probate. A living trust is a great tool to retain control over managing assets and distribution. The main difference between a will and a trust is that a trust can hold onto assets for a much longer time than a will because a will “speaks upon death” and is therefore limited by the life of the person by whom it was created. A will is still a powerful instrument by its own right. For example, it is the only document that can nominate a guardian for any dependent children. It should be noted that a revocable living trust, a will, and declaring powers of attorney are complementary documents and all should be used in proper estate planning.
Do I Need an Attorney?
There are ways to “do it yourself,” however there are great risks that are involved when one attempts to save a few bucks on what really can be a complex legal matter. Probate, trusts, and wills are as individualized as every human being. That is why the boxed legal documents do not provide adequate protection or procedure. It is just too simple to make a mistake, not knowing you have made a mistake, then the problem becomes compounded upon probate. No one wants to leave more hassle for their loved ones at an already difficult time.
Platt & Westby, P.C. are experienced, proficient probate attorneys. Having been in business for over 40 years, Platt & Westby, P.C. can assist with any estate planning need. Please call for a free and confidential appointment. 602-277-4441