In Arizona, the assets of a person who dies (“decedent”) automatically belong to the decedent’s “Estate.” An “Estate” is a collection of the decedent’s assets and liabilities. See A.R.S. § 14-1201(17) (defining “estate” as “the property of the decedent”); see also In re Johnson’s Estate, 129 Ariz. 307, 310, 630 P.2d 1039, 1042 (App. 1981).
Another view is that the decedent’s assets automatically become the property of the decedent’s successors, subject to the obligation to pay valid creditor claims, taxes and expenses of administration
A successor is someone other than a creditor who is entitled to a decedent’s property either by will or law. A.R.S. § 14-1201(53). A successor immediately receives title to property upon a decedent’s death. See A.R.S. § 14-3101(A); see also Hallas v. Evans, 69 Ariz. 14, 18, 207 P.2d 985, 987 (1949) (“The holding of this court has been and the rule is well known that immediately upon the death the heirs are invested with title.”).
If you are having trouble obtaining your fair share of a decedent’s assets, we may be able to help. To obtain our assistance, contact us.