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Most probate cases in Arizona are informal and can be filed and monitored by court personnel with no need to appear in court for any hearings. The person who died does not have to have a Will in order to file for probate. There are time restrictions on when a probate matter can be filed. The person who wishes to file a Petition to be appointed as the Personal Representative and file all necessary information and documentation. The personal representative is required to take a training course.
Formal probate is used when a judge needs to be involved. There may be an issue with the validity of the will, choice of personal representative, an asset requiring court supervision or identification of heirs. Like informal probate, a formal probate matter would require the same forms, and a personal representative would be appointed.
In Arizona, if a person dies with an estate under $75,000 of personal property, the law allows you to skip probate altogether. There are also options from real estate. This requires that all funeral expenses have been paid, all unsecured debts have been paid, and that there are no federal estate taxes due.
Brittany Labadie is the Managing Partner at Lewis Labadie. She has been working with Lewis Labadie since it opened. Her current focus is with adoption cases, including juvenile adoptions, adult adoptions, foster care adoptions, same-sex adoption, surrogacy adoptions, and when necessary termination of parental rights. She works throughout the State of Arizona.