Probate is the legal proceeding where a court steps in and begins the process of distributing assets after the death of the estate owner. It’s a pretty straightforward concept, and in Arizona, is commonly required except for in very specific circumstances.
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The average cost of probate in Arizona can vary depending on a number of circumstances, but legal fees alone can range, on average, anywhere from $2,000 to about $5,000.
To understand more about the process and what would affect things like probate lawyer fees in Arizona, read on - we’re covering everything you need to know, in detail, about what to expect during probate.
First, it’s important to understand that the cost of probate in Arizona can vary. It largely depends on a number of factors, including:
Local filing fees
Complexity and size of an estate
Whether or not you use an attorney
And other factors
Because of all of these nuances, it’s difficult to state a concrete average cost of probate in Arizona. That said, it can be helpful to understand a bit more about the process if you’re about to go through it.
Common Probate Fees in Arizona
Despite there being some variances with probate costs in Arizona, there are some fairly common fees you should probably expect to pay as you navigate the process. These might include:
Court and filing fees
Attorney fees (if you use a probate lawyer)
Executor compensation (averaging anywhere from around $25 - $50/hour; Arizona is a reasonable compensation state)
Additional professional fees like Land Surveyors, Accountants and Appraisers
Surety/Administrator/Executor Bonds (also known as Probate Bonds) are almost always required by county courts in Arizona
Common Questions About Probate in Arizona
How Long Does Probate Take in Arizona?
The probate process in Arizona can take anywhere from five months (the minimum) to several years. Size and complexity of the state, along with other factors (like will anyone contest) come into play. Personal Representatives have 30 days to inform beneficiaries and inheritors that probate has been opened. According to state law, in most cases, probate needs to be opened within two years after the estate owner passes.
Informal probate averages six to eight months to complete.
Formal probate can take a year or more to fully settle.
What is UPC in Arizona?
Arizona is one of a handful states that adopted the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). The UPC attempted to streamline the probate process nationally, but since only 18 states have adopted the code, it’s not as effective as intended. Under the code, there are three types of probate proceedings:
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Arizona?
The range noted earlier ($2,000 - $5,000) applies to fairly straightforward, informal and uncontested probates. Most law firms in Arizona calculate probate fees based on hourly rates. That said, many have recently changed to a fixed fee pricing for probate proceedings.
How Can You Avoid Probate in Arizona?
Estates in Arizona can avoid probate under the following circumstances:
Assets are held in a Living Trust (only when a Trust is set up and funded properly)
Property and assets are jointly held
Beneficiary designations are used appropriately
Estate value (after debts and taxes are paid) doesn’t exceed the small estate threshold
What is Considered a Small Estate in Arizona?
In Arizona, if an estate value is less than $100,000 in real property and $75,000 in personal property, it can avoid probate all together. An Affidavit must be submitted to the courts dictating all assets and associated values. At this point, the court can grant permission for assets to be transferred and distributed to heirs.
There is also a summary probate procedure that’s available in certain cases. There is a six-month waiting period to use this process.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Arizona
Most probate fees, including the costs associated with probate attorney fees in Arizona, can typically be paid for out of the estate.