Understanding Intestacy – Part 1 Term, Questions, and Answers By The Deason Garner Law Firm Intestacy What is intestacy? Every capable adult in the state of Arizona has the right to create a last will and testament in which they can make inheritance choices. If you don’t write a will you are said to have died intestate. Intestate Estates What is my estate? Your estate is the collection of property you leave behind after you die. That property must be distributed to new owners. An intestate estate is one that is distributed in accordance with Arizona’s pre-determined inheritance laws, instead of through the choices you could have made in your will. Inheritances Who inherits from my intestate estate? Your closest relatives will usually inherit your property should you die intestate. If you’re married, your spouse will keep a lot of property automatically, while the rest will be distributed between your spouse and other living relatives, such as your children, siblings, or parents. (We explain more about this in our next Intestacy presentation.) Probate Court What does it mean for an estate to be probated? The probate court is responsible for overseeing the distribution of intestate estates. The court will name a personal representative, also called an estate administrator, who will be responsible for identifying what property you left behind, and then determining who is legally entitled to inherit it.
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