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Arizona Wills: Do All My Assets Have to Go Through Probate?

By Zachary Mushkatel on

If you pass away with a valid will in Arizona, the probate court will handle tasks like appointing your chosen personal representative and overseeing the administration of your estate as your personal representative follows the instructions in your will.

The probate court handles the assets that your will distributes, but not all of your assets have to go through your will and thus through probate. Arizona law recognizes several different types of “non-probate” assets, which can transfer to another person or organization after your death without first going through the probate process.

Some of the most common types of non-probate assets include:

  • Jointly-owned assets: Bank accounts and other assets owned jointly by you and another person may transfer to that person’s ownership automatically on your death, and vice versa. It’s important, however, to ensure that any assets you own jointly fall into this category.
  • Beneficiary designations: Many assets, like bank accounts, life insurance policies, and some retirement plans, designate a “beneficiary” to receive the assets outright when the owner passes away. Often, these assets do not have to go through probate for the beneficiary to receive them.
  • Trusts: A trust holds property for the benefit of one or more other people or organizations. Trusts are another way to transfer property that may not require the intervention of a court.

At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, an experienced Phoenix estate planning lawyer can help you prepare an estate plan that fulfills your wishes and takes care of those you love most. For a confidential consultation, call us today at (623) 889-0691.