Personal representatives assume quite a bit of responsibility under the Arizona Probate Code. And more often than not, personal representatives have very limited experience with Arizona probate law. This is troubling because without experience, a personal representative risks making error, and even becoming personally liable to the estate for certain mistakes. The way to avoid such problems is by recruiting an Arizona probate attorney early on.
Perhaps the first order of business for a personal representative should be hiring an Arizona probate lawyer, and this is true regardless of the situation. Where an individual dies with a will, an Arizona probate attorney can help the personal representative distribute the assets according to the decedent’s wishes. Where an individual dies without a will, an Arizona probate attorney can help the personal representative distribute the estate according to Arizona probate law. And even where an individual dies with assets in trust, an Arizona probate attorney can help the personal representative administer the trust quickly. In each of these scenarios, an Arizona probate attorney can help the personal representative with issues such as paying creditors and taxes as well.
Every estate presents its own set of issues for personal representatives to deal with. Personal representatives must make an inventory of the estate assets, determine the value of the estate’s assets, and then either sell the assets or distribute them to beneficiaries. Personal representatives who make a mistake during any part of this process can subject themselves to legal and financial trouble. Personal representatives must abide by strict fiduciary duties to protect themselves against these complications.
An Arizona probate attorney will keep personal representatives informed about their fiduciary duties and the nuances of Arizona probate law. Under the counsel of an experienced probate attorney, personal representatives can ensure that they adhere to their obligation of loyalty to the estate. In addition to protecting the personal representative, the probate attorney will remove uncertainty from the personal representative’s job, and provide express guidance on each issue that arises. By hiring an Arizona probate attorney early on, personal representatives are best able to properly manage the estate’s affairs.