What is probate?
Phoenix, AZ estate planning attorney Chikk Myers talks about probate.
Phone: (602) 234-1178
Probate is the judicial procedure on passing your assets when we can’t tell where they go, under the terms of the asset documentation. For example, if you have a bank account and it just has your name on it, by looking within the four corners of the statement we can’t tell where it goes. So we have to look to your will to determine where that property goes. If you’ve got real estate just in your name we don’t know where it goes so we’ve got to go look at the will. And how do we know that’s your last testamentary document?
And hopefully, we can find the original because it’s the original we submit to the court and we represent that that is the last known testamentary document and are there any amendments to that will, which we typically refer to as codicils. Has it been amended? Some clients even come in with a holographic will, that’s where someone has done it in their own handwriting and generally, that really creates more problems than it solves because they haven’t captured all the typical provisions that should be in a will and a lot of the provisions are subject to interpretation. So they think they’re trying to do their own estate planning when it really ends up costing a lot more in the long run.