Glendale, Arizona is rich in sports history. It is the home of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, and the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. During Spring Training the MLB’s Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers share a facility known as Camelback Ranch-Glendale. In 2008 The New York Giants played the New England Patriots for Super Bowl XLII. The Giants defeated the Patriots by the score of 17–14. According to the U. S. Census Bureau in 2000, there were approximately 218,812 people living in Glendale.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process by which a person’s estate is distributed when they die. Their property must either be distributed according to their lawfully executed will, or in the absence of a will, the estate will be distributed according to state law. Either way, the process of distribution is what probate refers to. Because probate can be very costly, and time consuming (at least 4 months, usually longer), there are several advantages to avoiding the process through estate planning.
How Can I Avoid Probate?
Depending on your unique situation, an experienced probate attorney may be able to avoid court by administering the estate in an informal way. Only when the will is uncontested (no one is claiming the will is incorrect), and the will and execution meet specific requirements is an informal proceeding available. Avoiding court under an informal proceeding is not possible when there is no will or there is a will but it is contested.
There are other methods to avoiding probate. Executing a revocable living trust, for example, is a fantastic way to avoid probate. A living trust is a great tool to maintain control over managing assets and distribution. Another bonus is that under trust law courts try to adhere as closely as possible to the settlor’s intent. In the event something unanticipated occurs, the creator’s wishes, intentions, desires are applied as closely possible.
A notable difference between a will and a trust is a trust can hold assets much longer than a will because a will “speaks upon death.” Therefore, a will is limited to the lifetime of its creator. By no means is this to say that a will is not a necessary instrument. A will, for example, is the only document by which a guardian for a dependent child can be nominated. It is important to understand that a will, a revocable living trust, and declaring powers of attorney are documents that are complementary by nature and should all be used together in proper estate planning.
Do I Need an Attorney?
In almost everything today there is a way to “do it yourself,” however great risks are assumed when one takes matters in their own hands where a complex legal matter exists. Sending an estate through probate is as personalized as a fingerprint. That is why do-it-yourself legal documents do not provide adequate procedure, protection, or know how to do a competent job. It is just too easy to make a mistake.
Platt & Westby, P.C. are experienced and proficient probate attorneys. Having been in business for over 40 years, Platt & Westby, P.C. are more than qualified to assist you in your probate planning needs. Call 602-277-4441 today for a free and confidential appointment. With locations throughout the valley, there is one sure to be convenient for you.