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Glendale Probate Lawyer

Glendale Probate Attorney

Todd Smith is a top Probate attorney serving Glendale, AZ.

B.S. in Accountancy at the Arizona State University in 2003 (magna cum laude)
Focuses on estate planning, trust administration, and probate
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Todd Smith is our recommended Glendale Probate attorney. 480-613-8881

Disclosure: We may receive compensation from this attorney.

About Todd Smith

Todd Smith is an experienced attorney with Dana Whiting Law. Todd's practice focuses on estate planning, trust administration, and probate. He has assisted many clients, from the very wealthy to modest estates, on the planning side. Todd enjoys working with business owners, whether in developing and implementing strategies for asset protection or assisting with various legal issues. He also works with trustees and executors to help administrate several types of trusts and estates, whether or not filing probate will be necessary.


  • B.S. in Accountancy at the Arizona State University in 2003 (magna cum laude)
  • J.D. at the William S. Boyd School of Law (UNLV) in 2006.

What it's Like Working With Our Recommended Probate attorney serving Glendale, AZ

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Todd Smith


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2201 E Camelback Rd UNIT 222, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Everything You Need to Know When Hiring M. Todd Smith, Esq. as Your Glendale Probate Attorney

How Much Does It Cost to Hire You as My Glendale Probate Lawyer?

The cost of hiring one of our Glendale probate lawyers will depend on several factors. Typically, the total probate legal fees for simple estates, after everything is settled and the probate is closed, range from $6,000 to $8,000. However, larger or more complicated estates may cost much more. We can discuss the specific fees that might apply to your case at your initial consultation. 

Our team of attorneys and paralegals bill the probate estate for their respective time at standard hourly rates as set forth in the engagement letter, which is signed when you hire our firm. The estate's court-appointed Personal Representative (aka executor) is authorized to pay all final expenses, including legal fees, with estate funds. As such, heirs to the estate typically don't have to pay anything out of their own pocket.  

Do You Offer Free Probate Consultations in Glendale?

Yes, it's our pleasure to meet with you before you hire us. We provide free initial consultations for probate clients. During this meeting, we can discuss the estate at hand, any issues that may arise, and the cost of our legal probate services. We will also address any questions or concerns that you have. 

What Should I Expect after Hiring You as My Glendale Probate Attorney?

When you hire our firm to manage your probate case, you can expect a team approach. Our team of experienced paralegals and Glendale probate attorneys is very familiar with the probate process, Arizona probate laws, and all the duties and obligations that go along with it.  In addition, we have helped families settle estates of all sizes, making it unlikely that a problem with your case will arise that we haven't seen and effectively handled before. 

You can also anticipate that we will communicate with you at each stage of the probate process to manage your expectations and keep surprises to a minimum. We know that the probate process can be a long and confusing one, and we are here to make it as easy and painless as possible for you and your family. 

What Are the Potential Issues or Complications That Could Arise in My Glendale Probate Case?

While most probate classes are relatively simple, many different types of complications can arise during this process. Complications with probate usually involve contested issues. For instance:

  • Heirs may disagree with the executor's decisions
  • Creditors may disagree about the validity of their claim

In addition, sometimes there are problems not with the people involved but with the estate's assets—such as an asset that is difficult to marshal and liquidate.

Rest assured that no matter how complex or challenging your Glendale probate case becomes, we will be with you every step of the way. You can rely on our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys and paralegals to effectively address any issues that may arise.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring You as My Probate Lawyer in Glendale?

When you hire our firm, you can be confident in the following:

  • Our familiarity with the Arizona probate process 
  • Our ability to efficiently resolve your concerns 
  • Our willingness to communicate what needs to be done in order to settle all outstanding issues
  • Our take-charge approach will ensure your probate case doesn't drag on any longer than necessary

You can trust that our team has what it takes to resolve your probate case in the best way possible. 

How Long Does the Probate Process Take in Arizona?

In Arizona, you can anticipate your probate case will last at least four to six months because of the creditor notice period for all known and unknown creditors of the decedent. With simple estates, the probate case can be closed not long after the creditor period. 

However, many estates require additional time in probate because they involve managing and distributing or liquidating various assets. Depending upon the complexity of the estate and any issues that may arise, some cases take a year or even several to resolve. We can discuss an estimate of how long your case might take at your initial consultation.

Do You Have Experience with Complex Glendale Probate Cases Involving Trusts, Contested Wills, or Tax Issues?

Our firm handles Glendale probate cases of all types and sizes. Our knowledgeable team includes attorneys with advanced tax degrees and significant estate planning experience. In fact, we are confident that there is no case too complex for our skilled legal professionals to handle, including those with trusts, contested wills, or even substantial tax issues. 

What Are the Next Steps to Set Up My Probate Consultation and Hire You?

Please call our law firm. One of our friendly and helpful representatives will assist you in scheduling a free initial consultation. During your consultation, we can briefly get to know each other, and we will familiarize ourselves with your probate case. We will address your questions and concerns and discuss any anticipated complications and our expected fees. If we decide to work together, you will be asked to sign a contract to hire us at the close of our consultation. We can then get started on your case right away.

The Detailed Glendale Probate Questions I Get Asked the Most

How Can You Help Get My Parent’s House in Glendale Out of Probate?

Under Arizona probate law, you can't do anything with the house unless you are the estate's executor, as you don't have the legal authority—even when it comes to parents or other close family members. However, the good news is that our firm can help you obtain a court appointment as the estate's Personal Representative (aka executor). Once you have this appointment, which usually takes a couple of weeks or less, you will be authorized to sell the property or transfer it to the appropriate heirs.

My Parents Had a Will. Why Do I Need to Go to Probate?

That is the purpose of the probate court. The estate of everyone who passes away must go through probate court, whether they have a will or not. If they have a will, the probate court "proves" the will's validity and appoints the appropriate person to serve as the estate's Personal Representative (aka executor). The probate process will ensure that the decedent's desires are carried out as detailed in the will. With a will, an estate can go through the probate process much quicker and with less expense.

My Parents Had a Trust. Why Do I Need to Go to Probate? 

Generally, trusts are established to avoid probate or keep certain assets out of the probate process. However, many times those executing a will or a trust fail to put what they want in the trust. If they pass away without doing this, probate is still necessary for anything not held in the trust. As such, if your parents didn't change the title of the house so that the trust owns it, probate will be necessary for their estate.

Why Do I Need a Glendale Probate Attorney in the First Place?

Probate can be long, arduous, and time-consuming. Navigating by yourself can feel like too much after losing a loved one. The duties and responsibilities of a court-appointed Personal Representative (aka executor) are often overwhelming for most laypeople. But, with an experienced Glendale probate attorney from our firm on your side, you won't have to wonder or worry about taking the right actions. We will guide you through the steps and talk to you about your options.

Furthermore, many personal representatives may not fully understand that they assume substantial liability and may face potential legal implications if they breach their fiduciary duties in this role. Our firm considers it our top priority to assist you with all of these duties and responsibilities in order to minimize your exposure and resolve the case as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What Assets Have to Go Through Probate in Arizona? 

All real and personal property is subject to probate under Arizona law. Real property includes assets such as homes, land, and other buildings. Personal property refers to such things as cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, cars, and jewelry.

Some assets aren't subject to probate in Arizona, such as:

  • Life insurance policies with listed beneficiaries
  • Retirement accounts with listed beneficiaries
  • Certain types of trusts

In Arizona, any real estate with equity valued at greater than $100,000 or any personal property valued at greater than $75,000, collectively, can only be liquidated or transferred through the probate process. If a decedent has an estate with a total value below these limits, their estate isn't required to go through probate. Instead, the estate's beneficiaries can file a Small Estate Affidavit to claim their inheritance without going through probate.

I Am Named the Executor, and I Live Out of State. Can I Be Appointed in Arizona?

Yes, you absolutely can. Arizona doesn't require the court-appointed Personal Representative (aka executor) to reside within the state. Our firm has offices all over Arizona, and our attorneys and paralegals can assist you in any Arizona county as your "boots on the ground" for your probate case.

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