Small Estate Administration


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Small Estate Administration in Arizona

Typically when an individual dies in the state of Arizona, his or her estate is dealt with through either the probate process or through the administration of a trust. However, if the estate of a deceased individual (assets titled in his or her own name and considered probate assets) is small enough, traditional probate is not required. In such instances, in Arizona “small estate administration,” is possible. In these cases, ownership of assets can be transferred directly to the beneficiary by a small estate affidavit.

Small estate administration can be a simple process, but could be complicated if there are multiple beneficiaries, creditors or other problems in the estate. However, even if the small estate statutes are used it is important that the terms of an individual’s will are carried out per his or her wishes. Even a small (monetary) estate can mean a great deal to a family, and correctly interpreting and administering the will of an individual with a small estate affidavit is an important responsibility of the beneficiaries. The Mesa probate attorneys at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. have helped many families with small estate administration. Give us a call at 480-833-1113 or contact us online today so that we can help you understand your responsibilities under the law.

When Can Small Estate Administration Be Used? A small estate affidavit may be sought to transfer an estate without going through a formal or informal probate process, which appoints an executor to administer the estate, but only under the following circumstances:

  • If the value of all personal property (bank accounts, vehicles, tangible personal property, etc.) of the individual who died is collectively $75,000 or less, and the death occurred at least 30 days prior to signing the affidavit.
  • If the value of real estate of the deceased person does not exceed $100,000, and the death occurred at least six months prior to signing the affidavit.
  • If you are the spouse of the individual who died and want to collect up to $5,000 of wages owed to the deceased.
  • If you are personally entitled to the personal or real estate property that belonged to the deceased and you have a legal right to collect the property (as a devisee under a will, or legal heir if the decedent died without a will under Arizona’s intestate laws).
  • If probate has not been opened in any jurisdiction or the personal representative has been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since the closing statement has been filed in a probate matter.
When Can Small Estate Administration Be Used?

A small estate affidavit may be sought to transfer an estate without going through a formal or informal probate process, which appoints an executor to administer the estate, but only under the following circumstances:

  • If the value of all personal property (bank accounts, vehicles, tangible personal property, etc.) of the individual who died is collectively $75,000 or less, and the death occurred at least 30 days prior to signing the affidavit.
  • Financial statement
  • 2 Years of tax returns
  • 2 months of bank statements
  • 2 months of pay stubs
  • Airplane Accidents
Who Can Help Me With Small Estate Administration?

If you are planning your will and own what is considered a “small estate” in Arizona, it’s advisable to contact a lawyer who can help you to create a comprehensive will that can be easily administered through small estate administration. Ensuring that your beneficiaries receive the full value of your belongings, and that you can decide how to divide your assets among your heirs, is very important. Otherwise, the state may determine how your assets are distributed. If you are the individual who is seeking small estate affidavits, an attorney who is well versed in estate planning laws and regulations in Arizona will be able to offer you advice on small estate administration for both personal property or real property. Estate issues in Arizona can be complex, even in the instance of a small estate. With a lawyer on your side, you can ensure that the will of your deceased loved one is carried out to his or her specifications or if they don’t have a will, that their estate will be managed in a way that honors their memory.
Small Estate Administration in Mesa

If you are responsible for small estate administration, an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to offer you the assistance you need. Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. can help you with estate planning, or any other legal issues in Arizona. Give our Mesa probate lawyers a call today at 480-833-1113.

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