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  • Kinghorn Law, LLC


    Tucson Office
    3573 E. Sunrise Dr.
    Suite 209
    Tucson, AZ 85718


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    7272 E. Indian School Rd.
    Suite 540
    Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Probate and Trust Administration

If your loved one has passed away or become incapacitated, you need to take action. Exactly what kind of action will depend on what kind of plan your loved on created—or didn’t create.


Probate & Trust Administration

Tucson Probate

The probate process happens after virtually every death. While probate is supposed to be a good thing by providing a chance to wind up the affairs of the estate in an orderly fashion, the reality is there are downsides to the probate process.

If your loved one has passed away, there is a good chance you will have no choice but to deal with the probate process and all of its downsides. Kinghorn Law helps families and friends who must go through this confusing and lengthy legal proceeding. Our Tucson attorneys help executors fulfill their role during probate, assist in estate planning to avoid probate, and provide representation to those who wish to contest a will during the probate process.

What is the Probate Process?

The probate process takes place in probate court following a death. It is a process during which the affairs of a deceased person (decedent) are settled.

The process is also used to ensure the wishes of the decedent are respected, claims are made, and taxes paid.  Finally, probate ensures appropriate people inherit and facilitates the actual change in formal ownership which must occur following a death. Because this is a court proceeding, there are complicated legal rules which must be strictly followed, and the Tucson attorneys at Kinghorn Law will guide you through this process.

During the probate process, an accounting of assets is necessary to determine what the decedent owned. An assessment is made regarding whether there is a valid will, and if there is no will, a determination is made on who will inherit according to Arizona intestacy law. Creditors may assert claims on estate assets, and those who do not believe the will accurately reflects the wishes of the decedent are given a chance to have their say.

Unfortunately, probate is going to be a complicated, costly, and lengthy process after most deaths. This process can stretch on for several months, leaving heirs or beneficiaries waiting for an inheritance.  Strict rules apply to when and how paperwork must be submitted to the court and to taxing authorities during the probate process, which can be very overwhelming for families. This is why many people make an estate plan to facilitate asset transfers outside of probate. If the probate process must occur following a death, an experienced estate planning lawyer should be involved.

Who Should Have a Probate Lawyer During the Probate Process?

In Arizona, the person who has the most responsibility during the probate process is called the personal representative (executor) of an estate.

The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to beneficiaries and creditors. This is the highest duty one person can owe another, and is the same duty lawyers owe to clients.

Personal representatives are named in the will and appointed by the court, or if there is no will, have priority for appointment according to Arizona statutes. Personal representatives oversee and manage every aspect of the probate process. They have to do things like take care of the decedent’s property, file for probate with the court, and determine what claims against the estate are valid. A personal representative may be personally liable for failing to properly fulfill all of these duties.

Due to their myriad complex responsibilities, a personal representative should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after discovering they have been named as a personal representative.

Heirs or beneficiaries don’t have as many formal responsibilities during the probate process, but it is their inheritance on the line so it makes sense for them to try to secure legal representation as well. Finally, for any individual who wishes to contest a will, having an experienced attorney is absolutely essential to understand this process.


How an Attorney Helps During the Probate Process

After a death, probate must occur where the deceased lived and/or owned property. In some cases, multiple probate proceedings are needed when a decedent owned property in different states.

The personal representative (executor) of an estate has the most responsibility during the probate process, but all heirs or beneficiaries should monitor the process to ensure the decedent’s wealth is being protected.

Kinghorn Law represents personal representatives, heirs, and those challenging a will. When we are trusted to be your legal advocates during the probate process, we will explain and communicate with you at every step of the way. We assist with:

  • Determining where probate must take place
  • Filing court paperwork for probate to occur
  • Getting personal representative appointed to oversee probate
  • Contesting a will, or defending a will against a will contest
  • Providing required notices to heirs, beneficiaries and creditors
  • Filing all necessary paperwork with the IRS and state taxing authorities
  • Managing estate assets during the probate process
  • Monitoring the probate process for heirs or beneficiaries to ensure that the personal representative is fulfilling their duties and that the process is moving smoothly
  • Facilitating the transfer of assets through changing titles and deeds

This is just a small sampling of the legal services you may need in order to complete the required steps of the probate process. Let Kinghorn Law provide these services and other assistance so you can inherit and carry out the wishes of your lost loved one.

How Can the Lawyers at Kinghorn Law Help You?

Kinghorn Law represents personal representatives (executors) of an estate and to heirs or beneficiaries who are going through the probate process.

The attorneys at Kinghorn Law specialize in representing families who are going through the probate process following the death of a loved one. We also provide representation during will contests. Speak with a Tucson probate lawyer to find out more about how we can help you.

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