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Should I Avoid Probate in Arizona?

A wills and probate lawyer in Arizona has the job of helping you preserve your wealth and can offer advice about the best way to manage your estate. One important consideration that people face with estate planning is evaluating the importance of avoiding probate. In some states, probate fees are very expensive and attorneys, along with an estate’s representative, base their fees on a percentage of the estate’s value.

Typically, the more time it takes to probate an estate, the greater the costs. According to the Arizona Courts' publication Probate Fees, probate paperwork involves a “small mountain of forms” and keeping “track of filing deadlines and other procedural technicalities.” Fortunately, Arizona adopted the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), which has the purpose of shortening and simplifying probate, which in effect reduces costs. The UPC bases probate costs on “reasonableness” as opposed to “percentages.” States with schedules, like California, take as much as 14 percent or more of the estate’s value to pay attorney and estate representatives’ fees. Arizona, by comparison, has much more modest probate fees.

Even so, there are ways to avoid probate through joint tenancy of survivorship, trusts, annuities with beneficiaries or other instruments that are not subject to probate. A Tucson wills lawyer can review your estate and the unique situations involved with it and, as appropriate, help you arrive at the least costly way to preserve your estate.

Steven C. Weinstein can help you devise a will or put other estate planning instruments in place that meet your needs.

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