Arizona Probate and Trust Administration

When someone dies, there is a lot of work to be done.  Assets have to be identified and managed, bills have to be paid, and ultimately, assets have to be distributed to their new owner.  This work is usually handled by a family member or close friend, named as a personal representative or trustee, but you don’t have to go it alone.

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want is to have to go to court or jump through legal hoops to handle these affairs.  Israel & Gerity can help you with the legal processes required to ensure the proper transfer and disposition of your loved one’s assets, the protection of minor children, and other important issues and concerns.  Our team has the experience and compassion to be a source of comfort at a difficult time in your life.

Probate or Trust Administration?

The process that is required for handling these affairs will depend upon what kind of estate planning, if any, was done before death.  Without a properly funded trust in place, even if there was a will, the estate will have to go through a public court process called probate.  If a well-drafted trust was created and properly funded, then the estate will be handled with a private process called trust administration.  One of these processes may also be required if your loved one were to become incapacitated.  Whether it’s the probate process or the administration of a trust, Michael Gerity can help take the stress and hassle off of your shoulders.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the public legal process handled in the Superior Court through which a judge or commissioner oversees the distribution of the assets of a deceased person, after payment of debts and taxes, pursuant to the terms of a will.  If there is no will, then the assets must instead be distributed according to the terms of state statutes.  The probate process may be relatively simple, or much more complicated, depending on a number of circumstances.  The complexity of the case will depend upon the types of assets included in the estate, the debts of the decedent, and the willingness and ability of the interested parties to cooperate.  Mr. Gerity has the experience to assist you throughout the probate process, regardless of the nature and complexity of the probate, and no matter what your interest might be in the probate estate.

What is Trust Administration?

If a person established and funded a valid trust before dying, their wishes will be carried out through trust administration, with a person named as the trustee responsible for following the terms of the trust.  A trust is basically a contract where assets are given from a trustor (the person who created the trust) to a trustee (the person appointed to administer the trust).  When the trustor dies or becomes incapacitated, the trustee steps in to administer the trust and distribute the assets to the named beneficiaries in the trust.  A trustee has duties and responsibilities in the administration of the trust, including the obligation to protect the trust assets and the interests of the beneficiaries.  If you have been appointed as a trustee or are currently acting as a trustee, we can assist you in fulfilling your fiduciary duties.

Who Should Get Help During the Trust Administration and Probate Processes?

Both trust administration and the probate process require that specific legal steps be taken at specific times, such as providing formal notices, making required filings and handling of distributions.  Working with an experienced attorney can reduce the chances of a problem arising, and can minimize the expense and difficulty if a problem does arise.

How can a Phoenix Trust Administration and Probate Lawyer Help You?

Whether you are overseeing probate or the trust administration process, whether you stand to inherit or whether you believe there is a problem with a last will and testament or a trust, you need to get the proper legal advice from a trusted advisor who knows the law.  Israel & Gerity is here to help.  We can guide you through the process and make sure that it goes smoothly.  We can also provide representation to heirs or beneficiaries who are inheriting from a will or trust and who want to make sure the process is properly handled.  Finally, if someone wants to challenge the validity of a last will and testament or a trust, we can help with that as well.

Give us a call and we’ll get to work on these complex legal matters.  Remember, there are lots of deadlines in both the probate and trust administration process, so don’t hesitate to get the assistance of experienced counsel.

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