death without a trust - dark clouds

Death Without A Trust in Phoenix, AZ

Phelps LaClair firmly believes that estate planning is one of the most important financial arrangements you will ever make. It makes your end-of-life wishes known and brings families great peace of mind. It determines how your assets are distributed among your spouse, descendants, and friends upon your demise, and it avoids the costs and delays of probate court. But what happens when there is a death without a trust in Phoenix, AZ? The bottom line is this: without estate planning, you have no say in the matter.

Intestate Succession

In the event of a death without a trust, Intestate Succession sets the rules that determine who inherits the property of the deceased. Intestate succession is set by law in each state. In Arizona, the primary beneficiary would be the surviving spouse and the children of the decedent. If there are no children, the surviving spouse is the sole inheritor. If there is no surviving spouse, then the descendants of the deceased would inherit the entire estate. If there are no surviving descendants, then the parents of the deceased would be the inheritors. In the same manner, without survivors, the succession order would be to the siblings and their descendants; to the grandparents and their descendants; and finally, to the state.


Not all property of the deceased is subject to intestate succession. There are some exceptions such as: life insurance payouts, property held in a living trust, payable-on-death bank accounts and any property held jointly where there is a right of survivorship.

Planning is Important

There comes an end to every life. It is a fact that must be prepared for. We have only touched briefly on the Arizona laws concerning intestate succession. It is a complicated matter that can be avoided with careful planning. Phelps LaClair (with offices in Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa) is a leading expert in estate planning. We have helped hundreds of families plan for end-of-life issues. Let us help you to find peace of mind when it comes to the distribution of your estate. You don’t want your family to experience your death without a trust. Trust us in this.



Images used under creative commons license (Commerical Use) 01/13/19  Photo by Jay Mantri on Tumblr

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