You’re loved one passed away without a trust. You’ve been told or believe you need a probate. What must you do to handle the estate and transfer the assets to the correct beneficiary?
Mary was the middle of three adult children. Her mom passed away with a Will leaving her assets equally to the three children and naming Mary as the executor or personal representative of mom’s estate. Her mother’s IRA named the three children as beneficiaries, but other assets, including mom’s paid-off house and bank accounts, had no beneficiaries.
Mary wanted to sell the house in today’s seller’s market to split the proceeds among the three children. Mary also worried about her older brother being difficult, as he felt that as the oldest, mom should have placed him in charge.
Mary thought she likely need a probate for her mom. Mary had heard ads on the radio saying that probates could cost tens of thousands of dollars and could drain the estate. She found our number on the internet and scheduled a complimentary phone call with Stephanie, our probate paralegal.
Upon talking with Stephanie, Mary felt relieved to know that while her mom will need a probate, Mary should likely be able to handle mom’s estate without breaking the bank. She was surprised to learn that contrary to the radio ads, Arizona probates can often be handled simply and easily if there are no big fights. She liked our full transparency and by the book approach, as it seemed to her that it could help avoid problems later, especially with her older brother. This realization took a huge load off her.
She also felt comfortable with our fee structure that charges a flat fee to open the probate and then just hourly afterward based on the work involved rather than a percentage of the estate assets charged as done by many other law firms. Mary felt this approach left her in control of the costs—she could use our office as a guide as needed or let us hold her hand through the process—whichever she preferred.
She engaged our services to open the probate for mom. We helped her gain access to the assets and keep her siblings informed along the way. She sold the house, distributed the assets and found her relationship with her siblings improved throughout the process—just as mom would have wanted.