Probate Attorney in Chandler

Understanding the probate process in Arizona is critical when you are grieving the loss of a loved one and managing their estate. Given the intricacies involved, such as managing debts, addressing tax implications, and navigating potential disputes, hiring an experienced probate attorney can be invaluable. A seasoned probate attorney can protect your interests and settle the estate according to the deceased's will.

If you have lost a loved one and could potentially face a tough probate process, it is important that you consult with an experienced probate attorney. When working with our law firm, you will have an experienced attorney who has 20+ years of experience in the probate courts of Arizona fighting for his clients. Disputes can arise in the probate process and it is important to have an experienced litigator by your side. We offer consultations to help you understand what your next steps need to be.

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By the time I retained Mr. Williams the case had already gone to trial, and I thought I had lost. He was successful at having the fees reduced by approximately $180,000!

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I contacted Peter Williams the week discovery was due and three weeks before the trial. Within days he negotiated an agreement to participate in a settlement conference and to vacate the current dates for discovery and trial. Highly recommend this attorney if you are going anywhere near a courtroom.

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I spoke with Peter Williams and he was very helpful in his guidance and advice. His consultation was nearly 30 minutes and was gracious, understanding, and empathetic. Good listener, gave me time to explain my entire situation before he commented. Great guy, I would recommend him to anyone looking for an attorney who has experience and still cares about practicing law and justice vs. strictly making money.


What is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised legal process that carries out the proper distribution of a deceased person's estate to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. The probate process can be complex, often requiring around nine months to complete. Without a will, the probate court steps in to identify the deceased's legitimate heirs who will be entitled to inherit the remaining assets. The division of these assets will be guided by the stipulations of Arizona's laws on intestate succession.

Disputes That May Arise

Probate disputes often arise from various situations, complicating what might otherwise be a smooth process. Here's a more detailed look at the most common causes:

  1. Missing or Outdated Documents: If the will is lost or outdated, it can lead to disputes over how the estate assets should be divided. In such cases, the court must decide how to distribute the assets according to Arizona law, which may not align with the deceased's intended wishes.
  2. Contested Validity or Terms of a Will: Disagreements can occur when a beneficiary or family member challenges the validity of a will or the interpretation of specific terms, arguing they don't align with their understanding of the deceased's wishes. In these instances, the court is required to resolve the issue before any assets can be distributed.
  3. Errors by the Executor: Mistakes or deliberate mismanagement by the executor can lead to disputes. If the executor fails to fulfill their duties appropriately or attempts to undermine the deceased's intentions, legal action might be necessary to rectify the situation.
  4. Evidence of Coercion or Undue Influence: If there's evidence suggesting the deceased was under duress or undue influence when signing the will, its validity can be challenged. In such cases, the court will assess the evidence and determine whether to uphold or discard the will.
  5. Incapacitated Testator: A will can also be contested if the testator(the creator of the will) lacks the necessary mental capacity at the time of execution. Legal assistance is vital in determining the appropriate course of action.
  6. Will Contests: Contesting a will is not uncommon, especially when valuable assets are involved or if a party believes they've been unjustly excluded. Though not inherently problematic, will contests can complicate matters significantly, warranting legal assistance.
  7. Executor Complications: If the executor refuses to fulfill their role or fails to perform their duties correctly, the court may need to appoint a replacement, which can prolong the process. If the executor disrespects the wishes outlined in the will, an attorney's assistance might be necessary to remove them from the position.
  8. Unlocated Assets: The inability to locate all assets can significantly delay the probate process. Attorneys can be helpful in such instances, tracing a paper trail to find missing assets. Clear instructions left by the decedent about asset location can prevent such issues.
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Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The Attorneys Office's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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