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Phoenix Probate Lawyer

Phoenix Probate Attorney

Matt Dana is a top Probate attorney serving Phoenix, AZ.

Education: Arizona State University Law School & New York University
38 Years of Experience
25 Attorneys Trained
Firm has Attorneys licensed in nearly 20 different states
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Matt Dana is our recommended Phoenix Probate attorney. 480-613-8881

Disclosure: We may receive compensation from this attorney.

About Matt Dana

Matthew S. Dana, a founder of Dana Whitting Law Group, has over 34 years of experience in Estate Planning. Matt started his law firm in Mesa shortly after graduating from ASU Law School, Dana & Associates. In 2014, Matt branched off to work at Quarles & Brady for three years. Matt missed being an entrepreneur and the challenges of running his firm, so he joined forces with Trevor Whiting, Todd Smith, and Donnie Coats to form the law group now called Dana Whitting Law. 


  • Arizona State University Law School
  • New York University

Charitable Affiliations:

  • Professional Advisory Boards made up of estate planning professionals.
  • Sun Devil Club of ASU
  • The Phoenix Theatre
  • Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

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

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Probate Attorney

Matt Dana


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2201 E Camelback Rd UNIT 222, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Everything You Need to Know When Hiring Matt Dana as Your Phoenix Probate Attorney 

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

Our fees depend on many factors, which makes it difficult to provide potential clients with a one-size-fits-all answer. Probate cases vary from one decedent to the next. The size of the estate, complexity of the assets, complexity of the family dynamics, how many states in which the decedent owned property, back taxes, family businesses, and countless other factors all add to the intricacy of a probate case which adds to legal costs and attorneys fees. 

Some probate matters in Phoenix are relatively simple; in those cases, we quote a flat fee that covers the entire case. However, other probate cases, such as those involving the factors described above, are charged an hourly rate. Even still, a reasonable general estimate is that, on average, probate attorney fees will cost between $7500 and $10,000 when you hire our firm. 
Keep in mind that when it comes to legal help, you get what you pay for. The least expensive probate attorney may not provide you with the best service. In fact, choosing a Phoenix probate attorney largely on cost alone can cause your deceased loved one's estate to lose money in the probate process, which means less money for heirs. 

Do You Offer Free Probate Consultations in Phoenix? 

Yes, our office is happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation case consultation. During this consultation, we can learn more about your case and provide you with a probate roadmap and an estimate of the cost of our services. Call our office to schedule your consult today— the sooner we can get involved in a probate case, the more desirable the outcome.

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

When you hire our law firm, we will take you through the probate process from start to finish. We will be here to address your questions and concerns every step of the way. You have our promise that we will return phone calls and emails promptly and treat you with courtesy at all times. You should also expect a lot of hand-holding, as probate is frequently a complex process. We will provide you with updates and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

When you hire us for probate services, our job and priority are to protect you as the executor of the estate. You should expect to receive compensation from the probate estate for your time as the executor or successor trustee. 

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

While some probate cases are simple and straightforward, others are more intricate. For instance, cases involving the following are more complicated and may face additional issues during the probate process:

  • Complex assets, such as oil leases or family-owned businesses
  • Family members that don't get along
  • IRS or state back taxes 
  • Real estate assets located in multiple states 
  • Challenges to the validity of the will 

How Long Does the Probate Process Take in Arizona? 

Unfortunately, probate isn't a quick or easy process. On average, Arizona probate cases can take as long as six months to a year. Complex cases can take several years to resolve, while simple cases may resolve in a matter of a few months.
Factors that can impact how long a probate case lasts include the following:

  • Where the executor lives
  • How many beneficiaries are in the will
  • Where the beneficiaries live
  • If any of the beneficiaries disagree
  • If any parties contest the will
  • If the estate is subject to estate taxes
  • How complicated the estate's assets are

Our attorneys will take every step possible to ensure that your probate case stays on track and that you can close this chapter of your life as soon as possible. 

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

Absolutely, we do. After 37 years in probate law, we have seen just about everything—from the most contested wills and severe tax liabilities to international assets and pets as beneficiaries. So there's not much that can surprise, intimidate, or overwhelm us. 

When it comes to any area of law, especially probate, experience definitely matters. Our firm is like that insurance commercial on TV, "we have seen a thing or two, so we know a thing or two." Don't risk your probate case to just any lawyer or law firm; with nearly four decades of experience in probate law, we have everything you need.

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

The next steps are easy, just like our representation will be for you. Simply call our office to schedule your free consultation. We offer face-to-face, or Zoom initial consultations, whichever is more convenient for you. If we mutually decide to move forward, we will go over documentation and how to hire our firm.

The Detailed Phoenix Probate Questions I Get Asked the Most

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

With the fast-changing Arizona real estate market, time is of the essence if you have a house to put on the market. You don't have time to wait for the often-slow probate court process. Our legal professionals can have you appointed as the estate executor in two to three weeks. Once you are legally designated as the executor of your parent's estate, you will then have the authority to fix up the house and put it on the market if that is what you want to do.  

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

Unfortunately, having a Will doesn't exclude an estate from the probate process entirely. Having a Will can make the process much easier, quicker, and less expensive. However, a Will only details who is entitled to inherit the assets when probate is finished. It doesn't ensure other legal steps that must occur when someone dies. The probate process ensures all creditors are paid, back taxes are paid, and there aren't any disgruntled beneficiaries. As such, a Will won't circumvent that process. 

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

If one or more of your parent's assets weren't properly titled inside of the trust, their estate will be legally required to go through probate. A trust only avoids probate if it owned the asset on the date of the decedent's death. Simply creating a trust by itself isn't enough to avoid probate. Those setting up a trust must follow through and transfer the assets into the trust in order for them to be protected. Sadly, most people don't follow through. Our educated guess is that 50 percent of people that have a trust still end up in probate. 

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

You need a Phoenix probate attorney for the same reason: a doctor, a dentist, or an auto mechanic. Sure, you can do various tasks yourself if you know what you are doing. For example, you could pull your own tooth out if you know what you are doing. However, doing so would likely cause more problems than it would solve.  

Probate works similarly. It's a complex process with many potential parties that want a piece of the action. The IRS, the state, neighbors, disgruntled family members, creditors, business partners, spouses, and the list goes on and on. You could handle the probate process yourself; however, it's likely to create more problems, take more time, and be more expensive in the long run. 

With a probate attorney, you don't have to worry about what you don't know. You can trust us to handle the process for you.

What Assets Have to Go Through Probate in Arizona? 

Probate is required under Arizona law unless all of a decedent's assets are placed in a trust, or the decedent has listed beneficiaries for all their assets. For some families, the good news is that Arizona has a more streamlined, simple probate process for smaller estates. If the total value of an estate's real property is less than $100,000, and all other non-real property totals less than $75,000, it qualifies for the simplified probate process.

Otherwise, anything that has a title attached to it but doesn't otherwise have a beneficiary designation or is not owned with a "survivorship feature" is subject to the probate process. 
Specific assets that don't have to go through the probate process include the following:

  • Assets belonging to a living trust: These are owned by the trust at the time of a decedent's death and, as such, aren't considered part of the decedent's estate.
  • Income earned by the decedent before their death: Wages, salaries, and commissions aren't subject to probate. However, this income must be included on the decedent's final income tax returns.
  • Accrued pension plan distributions: These also aren't categorized as a part of the decedent's estate.

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

Absolutely. Arizona doesn't prohibit an individual living out of state from serving as the executor of a will. However, this out-of-state exception only applies to individuals. Therefore, those drafting a will can't choose a corporation (such as a bank or trust company) based in another state as their executor, as Arizona law will not honor it. 

With telephone, email, zoom, etc., it's very common and convenient for our office to deal with out-of-state executors. We are happy to make any necessary accommodations to help you if you are an out-of-state executor. 

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