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What Happens When You Die without a Will in Arizona?

More than 55 percent of adult Americans have no form of a Will or Estate Plan. With these kinds of statistics, the chances are good when someone dies, the family struggles to locate a will. If you have had this happen to a family member, chances are you know how challenging the situation can be for the survivors. Here are a few of the facts around dying in Arizona without a will.

Three Facts of What Happens When You Die Without a Will

  1. Arizona State Law determines what happens to the property of someone who passes without a will.

In Arizona, this is called “intestate succession” or Arizona’s legal method of transferring property that a will would designate when someone dies. If a spouse or children survive the person who died, generally speaking, these assets would go to the spouse and children. If neither exist, a close relative would inherit the assets. If the state is unable to identify any relatives, the property then goes to the state.

2. If no will is found and no one else is a beneficiary or a signature on bank accounts, the accounts will be frozen.

In order to administrate an estate after someone passes without a will including paying all debts and selling assets, a probate must be opened in Superior Court and a Personal Representative, named.

3. When several heirs remain and all are the same priority on the succession list, the court will decide who becomes the Personal Representative.

In some cases, each of these heirs may hire attorneys to help make their case. This can delay the distribution of the estate for months, even years.

In Arizona, a Trust is a Good Replacement for a Will. And Does it Better.

If you would like to find out more about Wills and Trusts, visit one of our free community seminars at or come in for a free Assessment Appointment by calling us at 480-209-6942. It’s the best last gift you can give your family.

Posted on: June 12th, 2017 by Sheryl Keeme   Uncategorized
"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22