Avoiding Probate in Arizona
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Avoiding Probate in Arizona

How to save your family time, money, and inconvenience by avoiding probate in Arizona.

Probate court proceedings can be drawn out, expensive, and confusing. It’s no wonder a lot of individuals take steps to spare their families the inconvenience. Some states, nevertheless, provide different ways for avoiding probate. The following are your options in Arizona.

Living Trusts

In Arizona, you can create a living trust for avoiding probate for just about any asset you own—property, financial institution accounts, vehicles, etc. You are going to devise a trust document (it’s like a will), designating an individual to take over as trustee after you pass away (referred to as a successor trustee). Following that—and this is important—you are required to transfer ownership of your assets to yourself being the trustee of the trust. After that is done, the property will be managed by the conditions of the trust. At your passing, your successor trustee is going to be able to transfer it to the trust beneficiaries devoid of probate court proceedings.

Joint Ownership

Should you own property jointly with another person, and this ownership includes the “right of survivorship,” then the surviving owner systematically owns the property when the other owner passes away. No probate is going to be necessary for the transference of the property, of course it is going to take some paperwork to demonstrate that title to the property is held exclusively by the surviving owner.

These Types of Joint Ownership are Available in Arizona:

  • Joint tenancy. Property owned in joint tenancy systematically goes to the surviving owner when one owner passes away. Probate is not required. Joint tenancy usually functions well if couples (married or not) obtain property, vehicles, financial institution accounts or other valuable property jointly. In Arizona, each owner, known as a joint tenant, is required to own an equal portion.
  • Community property with the right of survivorship. Arizona is a communal property state, meaning that spouses typically own all property obtained throughout the marriage jointly unless they take steps for keeping it separate. When spouses retain title to an asset as communal property with the right of survivorship, then it systematically passes to the surviving spouse when one spouse passes away.

Payable-on-Death Designations for Bank Accounts

In Arizona, you are able to include a “payable on death” (POD) designations to financial institution accounts, for instance savings accounts and/or CD’s. You still manage all the capital in the account—your POD beneficiary has no right to it, and you are able to spend all of it should you choose. After your passing, the beneficiary can declare the capital straight from the financial institution devoid of heading to probate court.

Transfer on Death Registrations for Securities

Arizona lets you register securities transfer on death (TOD) forms. Individuals usually retain brokerage accounts this way. If you register an account in TOD (also referred to as a beneficiary) form, the beneficiary you designate is going inherit the account systematically following your passing. No probate court proceedings are going to be necessary; the beneficiary is going to deal directly with the brokerage firm for the transference of the account.

Transfer on Death Deeds for Property

Arizona enables you for leaving property using transfer on death deeds. These are also titled as beneficiary deeds. You sign and register the deed now, but it is not going to go into effect until your passing. You can nullify the deed or sell the property any time you wish; the beneficiary you designate on the deed has no right to it until your passing. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-405.

Transfer on Death Registrations for Vehicles

Arizona enables the transfer on death registrations for vehicles. When you register your vehicle(s) in this way, the beneficiary you designate is going to automatically inherit the vehicle following your passing. Probate court proceedings are not going be necessary.

Simplified Probate Procedures

Even when you do not do any planning for avoiding probate, your estate might be eligible for Arizona’s basic “small-estate” probate procedures.


  1. Valerie Keene, A. (2020, October 30). Avoiding probate in Arizona. www.nolo.com. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/arizona-avoiding-probate-31698.html

Arizona Family Law

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

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