Is Arizona probate necessary? There are three ways to probate an Arizona estate: Informal probate, formal probate and supervised probate. In fact, some Arizona estates do not require probate at all and other Arizona estates qualify for the simplified probate.
Additionally, there are many types of Arizona assets that aren’t required to go through probate. The ownership of all these assets will automatically transfer to their new owners with no scrutiny from the Arizona probate court. So again we ask, is Arizona probate necessary in all cases? These assets that are not required to be subject to Arizona probate are listed below:
- Living Trust Assets: Any assets held in a living trust will not be included in the probate estate.
- Property Held In Joint Tenancy: Any property held in joint tenancy such as a home, a bank account, or other asset held in joint tenancy will not be included in the probate estate. The surviving owner of this property will becomes the sole owner.
- Community Property With Right Of Survivorship: Arizona is a community property state and when property is purchased in Arizona, a married couple can add a right of survivorship to any community property. Any and all property that is held with a right of survivorship, will pass to the surviving spouse and this will happen outside of the probate court. If property is purchased as sole and separate, then the property will be treated as Arizona probate real estate and will be subject to oversight by the Arizona probate court.
- Payable-On-Death Bank Accounts: The funds subject to a payable-on-death account pass to the payable-on-death beneficiary upon the death of the original account holder.
- Assets Registered In Transfer-On-Death Form: The State of Arizona allows the owner of certain assets to name a transfer-on-death beneficiary; these assets include securities and vehicles. Assets registered with the transfer-on-death form will pass directly to the named beneficiary without probate court oversight.
- Real Estate Transferred By A Transfer-On-Death Deed: Also in the State of Arizona, a real estate owner can execute and record a transfer-on-death deed that will trigger the ownership of the property to transfer directly to the transfer-on-death beneficiaries, without oversight by Arizona probate courts.
- Contracts: When contractual agreements such as life insurance policies or annuities specify a specific beneficiary is or specific beneficiaries are to receive proceeds upon the death of the donor party, the proceeds are not required to pass through Arizona probate.
- Retirement Accounts: As long as the account holder of a retirement account has designated a beneficiary, the retirement account funds will not be required to pass through Arizona probate.
If you are asking the question is Arizona probate necessary, we would encourage you to consult an Arizona probate attorney. The information on this page is not guaranteed to be completely accurate as Arizona probate laws are subject to change.