Mesa, AZ 85213
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Gunderson, Denton And Peterson Office Locations
View View Gunderson, Denton And Peterson Locations in a larger map
Planning for the Future with Gunderson Denton
The Estate’s Responsibilities to Creditors and the Basics of Transferring the Estate
Dealing with and planning for death is never an easy thing. However, it is important to plan ahead and understand the basics of transferring the estate. When considering your estate or the estate of a loved one, a few important things you should know include:
- The State Law that Governs Wills and the Transfer of the Estate
- The Administration of the Estate
- The Order of Priority
- The Estate’s Responsibilities to Creditors
I. The State Law that Governs Wills and the Transfer of the Estate
First, it is important to understand which state law applies. According to a will attorney, the state law that applies is the state where the decedent legally executed the will or, if there was no will, the state where the decedent was domiciled at the time of death. Accordingly, Arizona law applies when there is a valid will that was created in Arizona or when the decedent dies without a will while domiciled in Arizona. The term ‘decedent’ refers to the person who died. ‘Domicile’ is determined according to the location of the decedent’s residence, where the decedent paid taxes, received mail, where he/she was registered to vote, etc.
II. The Administration of the Estate
It is also to understand the basics surrounding the administration of the estate. In Arizona, the court will either appoint a Personal Representative, or will recognize the one named as such in the will. The Personal Representative’s responsibilities include accounting for and protecting all assets in the estate, notifying creditors, and distributing the estate. The Personal Representative may receive ‘reasonable compensation’ in AZ, but it is not a percentage of the estate according to the will or state law.
III. The Order of Priority
Another important concept to understand is the order of priority in distributing the estate. Priority exists for times when the amount of the estate is insufficient to distribute to satisfy all expenses, debts, and intents from the will. The order of priority is generally as follows:
- Administration of the Estate – These include administration fees, attorney fees, and any other fees necessary for the safeguard and distribution of the estate.
- Statutory Allowances – When the amount in the estate is insufficient to pay out all the allowances, Arizona laws create priority among the statutory allowances. The only thing that has priority over these allowances and exemptions are the expenses to administer the estate. If there is no money remaining after one of the items, the others will not receive anything. The allowance include a Homestead Allowance of eighteen thousand dollars, a Family allowance limited to twelve thousand dollars-either paid in a lump sum or by monthly installments over a 12-month period, and an Exempt Property Allowance of seven thousand dollars.
- Creditors – These are the creditors of the decedent, subject to A.R.S. §§14-3801, 14-6102, and §14-6103.
- Heirs and Devisees – These are the people who are inheriting property from the decedent according to the will or state laws.
IV. The Estate’s Responsibilities to Creditors
It is also important to understand the Estate’s Responsibilities to Creditors. Upon the death of the decedent, the decedent’s debts are still valid and due to the creditors according to the order of priority already discussed. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 14-3801, the personal representative must notify all known creditors of the decedent’s death, the appointment of the personal representative, and how to collect on the debt owed, in most cases a debt spiral will be the only option out of it. For Unknown Creditors, the personal representative must publish notice once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county announcing the appointment. The creditors must then present a claim within four months of the first published notice.
Seek Counsel from an Experienced Attorney
Dealing with and planning for death is never an easy thing. However, it is important to understand and plan for the disposition of property to loved ones upon such an event. Our attorneys at Gunderson, Denton, and Peterson PC can assist you with your estate planning needs.
Written By Brent Gunderson
1930 N Arboleda #201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
40 N Central Ave #1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004
GDP Estate Planning Blog
Arizona Business Law
Arizona Business Lawyers
Link about our Arizona Business Lawyers.
Arizona Collections Law
Arizona Collections Lawyer
This link talks about our collection lawyers in Arizona.
Arizona Employment Law
Arizona Employment Lawyer
This link is about our employment lawyers in Arizona.
Arizona Estate Planning
Arizona Estate Planning Lawyer
This link is about our estate planning lawyers in Mesa Arizona.
- Mesa Estate Planning Attorney
This link talks about our estate planning lawyers in Mesa Arizona.
Arizona Franchise Law
Arizona Franchise Attorney
This link is about our Arizona Franchise Attorneys.
Arizona Immigration Law
Arizona Immigration Attorney
This link is about our immigration attorneys in Mesa Arizona.
- Arizona Visa Lawyer
This link is regarding our Arizona Visa Lawyers.
- EB-5 Immigration Visa
This page talks about EB-5 immigration visas.
- Investor Visa
This page talks about investor visas by our immigration lawyers in Mesa.
- Mesa Arizona Immigration Lawyer
This link is regarding our immigration attorneys in Mesa.
Arizona Litigation Matters
- Arizona litigation lawyers
This link is about our litigation lawyers in Mesa Arizona.
- Mesa Litigation Attorney
This link talks about out litigation lawyer in Mesa Arizona.
Arizona Probate Law
Arizona Probate Lawyers
This link is about our Arizona probate lawyers.
Arizona Real Estate Law
Arizona Real Estate Lawyers
This link is about our real estate lawyers in Mesa Arizona.
- Phoenix Real Estate Lawyer
This link is about our knowledgeable real estate attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mesa, AZ 85213