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Why do my heirs need to go through probate to get my property?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | Estate Planning, Probate |

Arizona’s laws require your property to go through probate before it legally transfers to your heirs. As noted by, if you die with a will in Arizona, the probate court reviews it for validity. Your chosen personal representative then distributes your property based on your will’s instructions.

If you die without a will, the probate court must then verify your properties. A judge also appoints a personal representative for your estate. After confirming ownership, the representative transfers your assets to your rightful heirs.

Who could receive my assets if I die without a will?

If you die without a will, your surviving spouse automatically receives your property. Under Arizona’s community property laws, your spouse has a right to inherit all your assets.

Children that you had with your surviving spouse, however, may not receive an inheritance. If you had children from a prior marriage, your surviving spouse only receives half of your assets. Your children from your former spouse receive the other half.

Who receives my property if I do not have a surviving spouse?

Without a surviving spouse, your children receive your assets. Children, however, may have different opinions on which assets they should receive. A probate court judge resolves any disputes.

If you die without a surviving spouse and children, your parents inherit your entire estate. If the probate court cannot confirm your living parents, your surviving siblings inherit your property. Siblings may divide your assets equally in probate court. They may also rely on a judge’s decision in case of disagreements.

To avoid disputes, you could add heirs as beneficiaries to your financial accounts. You may also create a will or trust to provide instructions on how to transfer your assets.