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How to Distribute some Property without Probate Court
Arizona, probate court may not be necessary to pass on property of a person who
died, whether or not there is a will. Property that can be transferred without court
- property held in joint tenancy that passes to the surviving joint tenants;
- property that is payable to a named beneficiary upon death, like life insurance;
- community property that goes to the surviving spouse;
- property held in trust that goes according to the trust terms.
Even if property was not passed on in one of these 4 ways, you may not need to go
to probate court for the following property:
- Salary and Wages: At any time after death, the surviving spouse may collect salary
or wages up to $5000 that was due to the person who died by completing an affidavit
and giving it to the employer.
- Personal Property: If the total value of the personal property is under $30,000,
the legal heirs can complete a document called "Affidavit of Successor to Personal
Property" to change title to the property, such as bank accounts and vehicles. Take
the affidavit to whoever has control of the legal title, like the bank or the motor
vehicle department. This may be done no sooner than 30 days after death.
- Real Property: If the total of the dead person's equity in real property is not
more than $50,000 and the property is not held in joint tenancy with a right of
survivorship, title to the real property may be transferred by Affidavit. To do
this, the legal heir, or the person who gets the property under the will, must file
in court no sooner than 6 months after death an "Affidavit of Successor to Real
Property." A certified copy must also be recorded with the County Recorder's office.