Probate could very well qualify as one of the most misunderstood areas of legal practice. When probate questions arise, it means you are dealing with some of your most sensitive personal issues or those of beloved family members. For that reason, you want someone in your corner who will take the time to get to know you, so you can be advised in a manner tailored to your actual specific needs.
At Nearhood Law Offices, PLC, we have served clients for years throughout the Scottsdale area and the entire state of Arizona. With more than five decades of experience between them, our firm’s attorneys possess the tested judgment you need to navigate the confusing waters of the probate system.
We make personalized service our cornerstone. We do that because one detail can make the difference in a case. We work closely with you on a one-to-one basis to learn those details in your case so that we can tailor our guidance to you.
For that reason, we caution you when reviewing any FAQ page, including ours. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all legal opinion because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all legal solution, especially when it comes to probate matters.
That said, there are some questions you can use to begin framing the questions you want to ask a probate lawyer. Some of these questions include:
Can probate be avoided?
Yes, probate can be avoided, but, as with everything, it depends upon the actual facts of your specific case, including your assets and how they are titled and/or beneficiary designations. In particular, probate can many times be avoided through effective estate planning through the use of trusts and/or diligent attention to asset titling and beneficiary designations, areas in which our firm excels.
How long does probate take?
Again, the real answer, as it is for every legal matter, is, “It depends.” Generally speaking, however, probate takes anywhere from six months to a year. But probate can take longer, particularly if real estate needs to be sold or there are ongoing business concerns and, ultimately, it depends on the facts of each case.
Is probate necessary?
Not always, but you want to know you have done what you can to pursue the course of action you want. You do not want probate forced upon you due to inaction or lack of planning.
What property is subject to probate?
Broadly speaking, assets that are solely in the name of the person who has passed away and that do not have a clear provision for succession of ownership will be subject to probate. The real question becomes then, which property of the decedent qualifies under that broad rule? The answer to that question, as with other legal questions, depends on the specifics of each case. For a real legal answer, you should consult with an attorney.