When someone you love dies in Arizona, their estate is subject to Arizona state probate laws, regardless of where their family members and beneficiaries live. That means their estate will likely have to pass through the Arizona probate courts.
Maybe this deceased individual named you as executor in their estate planning documents, or perhaps members of the family have stated that they think you would be perfect for that role. However, you live elsewhere, maybe a New Mexico or California.
Can you still serve as the executor of the estate as it moves through the Arizona probate courts?
Arizona does not prohibit out-of-state individuals from serving as executors
The probate courts will either have to review and approve the executor named by a deceased party or name someone on their own to handle that person’s estate. If the testator named you as their executor in their estate planning documents, then you will have the first priority to serve as executor even if other people want that role.
Even if you are a volunteer for the role, living elsewhere will not necessarily keep you from serving as the estate’s executor. The only limitation on out-of-state executors for estates going through the Arizona probate courts relates to corporations. Out-of-state corporations cannot manage the probate process for an individual who dies in Arizona. So long as you plan to assume the role as an individual and not a corporation, you can easily still serve as the executor.
How do you handle an Arizona estate from elsewhere?
Trying to manage the probate process is difficult enough when you have physical access to the property and can be present at court hearings. It will be much more difficult to manage got from out of state, which probably means you will need professional help.
Partnering with an attorney and other professionals in the state of Arizona can help you secure property, manage hearings and handle all of the various stages of probate without needing to be physically present in Arizona for the entire process. Learning about the Arizona probate laws will help you take the right steps on behalf of your loved one who recently died.