About Peoria:

Peoria, Arizona got its name from Peoria, Illinois when several families migrated for farming purposes. In 1994 construction on the Peoria Sports Complex was completed and was the first Major League spring training facility in the county and shared by two teams. The San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. According to the 2000 U. S. Census Bureau more than 108,364 people call Peoria home. However, Peoria’s identity is more related to resort and leisure living.

What is Probate?

At death, a person’s will determines the manner in which their property is to be distributed to their beneficiaries. If they die without leaving a will, state law determines distribution. Regardless of whether there is a will or not, “probate” refers to this process of distribution. Probate has a tendency to become costly and takes a period of time to complete. A minimum of 4 months because creditors must have an opportunity to state a claim, however it usually takes longer. As time and money are always important factors, avoiding probate is a coveted alternative.

How Can I Avoid Probate?

A revocable living trust is an excellent tool by which to avoid probate. One advantage of a trust over a will is that a trust is capable of holding onto property for much longer than a will. A will “speaks upon death,” meaning it is limited by the testator’s (creator’s) lifetime. A living trust also provides more control over property and its distribution to beneficiaries. An added assurance is that if something unexpected happens to the trust property or a beneficiary, courts try their best to follow the creator’s intent instead of going directly to the default state law. Meaning the court will try to best determine what your wishes would have been in that situation and follow them.

It should be noted that while a trust is a wonderful tool, a will is still a powerful instrument in its own right because it has the authority to speak in ways that a trust cannot. For example, in order to grant the power to nominate a guardian for any minor children, one must use a will because a will is the only document with this capability. That is why even though a living trust is highlighted here, a will, and also the power of attorney should not be forgotten, and should be used together in estate planning because they complement each other very well.

Do I Need an Attorney?

The expertise and guidance an attorney can provide in the above matters far outweigh the risk one takes when attempting on their own. It is too easy to make a mistake and while the mistake may be small when made, it has the ability to become very large and therefore very costly. Probate, and its accompanying instruments like wills and trusts are all extremely personal and important. As with anything that important, they deserve the highest attention and care making an attorney an invaluable part of this process.

Platt & Westby, P.C. have been working in probate for 40 years and have extensive experience in all matters related to estate planning. Platt & Westby, P.C. excel by giving clients personalized attention and honest advice about their options. Why attempt the unknown and risk creating a larger problem when a professional is available and just a phone call away. Call 602-277-4441 for a free and confidential appointment today, Platt & Westby, P.C. is here to help you.

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