The term "probate" refers to the establishment or validity of a will, but probate court in Maricopa County handles guardianship and conservatorship cases as well as formal and informal disputes over wills and adult adoption. There are about 22,000 probate cases in Maricopa County, and that number has steadily increased by between six and seven percent annually over the past few years, according to a recent report in the Arizona Republic.
Probate can be a relatively expensive and time-consuming process. Small estate affidavits, living trusts, and/or appropriate beneficiary designations can keep an estate out of probate court. We provide legal advice and counsel on ways to avoid probate.