Knowledgeable Scottsdale Probate Law Firm Settles Decedents’ Estates
Arizona attorneys provide advice and representation for personal representatives and administrators
If you have recently lost a loved one, you’ve no doubt heard the word probate used in relation to your loved one’s estate. Probate can refer to the court process of validating a will so a personal representative can implement the decedent’s wishes, or the oversight the court provides for an estate administrator who settles an intestate estate. Whether a will exists or not, the process of settling an estate can be complex, so the person who assumes those duties needs the advice of a knowledgeable probate lawyer. At Santerre & Vande Krol, Ltd., our attorneys have extensive experience advising clients who act as personal representatives and administrators. Personal representatives and administrators need sound guidance, since the law holds them personally liable for losses in the value of estate assets due to errors or misconduct. We can guide you through the complex process quickly and efficiently, so you maximize the value of the estate for your loved one’s heirs.
Probate attorneys guide you through every step of the process
Most personal representatives have never probated a will; many are surprised to learn the decedent’s will named them as the responsible party. When there is no will, the least-reluctant close relative usually acts as personal representative of the estate, after getting court approval. In most cases, the party responsible for settling the estate has no prior experience with tasks that include:
- Filing the will with the probate court
- Getting court approval as personal representative and posting bond, if required
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously settling the estate
- Finding and assembling assets
- Paying creditors and claimants
- Collecting amounts owed the estate
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying current and delinquent taxes as well as estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Estate representatives can easily make mistakes due to inexperience, stress and hasty decisions. We guide clients through every step of the probate process, with reliable, detailed advice, so you can settle your loved one’s estate as efficiently, quickly and easily as possible.
Valuing assets within the estate
Our attorneys assist personal representatives with the arduous process of collecting, valuing, protecting and liquidating the assets of the estate. Our team of experts is available to assist in every aspect of probate. When appropriate, the firm calls upon accountants, financial advisors, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with personal representative duties. We can access expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectables for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.