Probate is a court process to prove that a person’s last will and testament is valid and to have the court enforcing the terms of a will. If there are multiple wills or a will has imperfections, the court will clarify which will should be enforced or clarify how a person’s estate should be administered. If there is no will, then the court will dictate how a person’s final affairs will be settled using the laws of intestacy. Under Arizona law, probate is important to determine who should be the executor of the estate and who should be the beneficiaries of an estate. The executor of an estate is the person who is responsible for collecting estate assets, paying final expenses, and making a final distribution of property. Probate only dictates the distribution of estate assets. An estate asset only includes property that does not have a living co-owner and property that does not have a named beneficiary.
Probate is necessary if either of the two following statements are true: