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Probate is the process of determining the validity of a will, providing a forum for creditors to make claims against the estate, and making a determination as to who are the proper beneficiaries of the estate.  

In Arizona, most probates are initiated as an informal process in which the necessary paperwork is submitted to the probate registrar and a Statement of Informal Probate is issued, giving the personal representative the power to administer the estate.

In some cases, a probate will begin with a formal process of petitioning the Court to determine the validity of a will or make a determination of intestacy (no will), for a determination of heirs and for appointment of a personal representative.  This is referred to as a Formal Probate, which basically means that a hearing will be set before a Commissioner to make these determinations.  Formal probate is designed for situations where the probate registrar is unable to approve an informal administration of the estate.

There are many duties imposed upon a personal representative.  You should talk with us about these responsibilities and allow us to assist you through this process.

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