Surprise Probate Lawyer

Brian G. Winter

Surprise Probate Attorney

Attorney at Law Magazine’s Surprise Probate Local Legal Authority.

Brian G. Winter

Surprise Probate Attorney

Surprise Probate Lawyer

Attorney at Law Magazine’s Surprise Probate Local Legal Authority.

About
Brian G. Winter

Attorney Brian G. Winter practices probate law, estate planning, divorce and family law. Three years after joining Stewart Law Group as an associate attorney in 2017, Winter rose to firm partner. Equally skilled in negotiation, mediation, and litigation, he helps his probate clients navigate what are often sensitive, difficult matters.

Winter earned his BA in Government and Politics (1990) from St. John’s University in Queens and his JD (1993) from St. John's University School of Law. In 1994, he was admitted to practice law in New York (registered), Florida (inactive), and Connecticut (active) and US District Court, District of Connecticut.

In 2014, he was licensed in Arizona and became a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Scottsdale Bar Association, and Maricopa County Bar Association (on the MCBA Board of Directors in 2016).  

Because of the importance of ADR in probate proceedings, Winter's extensive background in mediation and collaborative law is of great benefit to clients. Cooperative settlement helps minimize the emotional impact of probate and can save costs by avoiding expensive trial preparation.

In 2010, Winter was certified by the Connecticut judicial branch for assignment as GAL/Attorney for Minor Children. As such, he was directly involved in appointment of guardians and conservators of individuals alleged incompetent or incapable of meeting their own day-to-day needs. GALs in Arizona are also court-appointed. In 2011, he completed 40-hours of mediation training with the Center for Understanding Conflict and advanced training with the Center for Mediation in Law. His keen insight, complex problem-solving, and extensive knowledge of non-litigation dispute resolution is invaluable.

Avvo-rated 10-of-10, Winter has received professional recognition from the:

  • American Institute of Legal Counsel - 10 Best Estate Planning Attorney (2020, 2018, 2017)
  • Lead Counsel - Lead Counsel Rated in Family Law (2015)
  • Lawyers of Distinction - Lawyers of Distinction Award (2017)
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys - 10 Best Attorney (2020, 2019)
  • Attorney and Practice Magazine - Top 10 Estate Planning Attorneys (2019)
  • Avvo - 5 Star Clients' Choice Award (2017), Client's Choice Award (2016), and Clients' Choice Award for Divorce (2015)
  • National Academy of Family Law Attorneys - Top Ten Ranking (2016)
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys - 10 Best Family Law Attorneys (2016)

Attorney's Latest Articles

About Surprise Probate Law

Probate law in Surprise involves the legal process behind properly distributing a deceased person’s estate to his or her heirs. This process generally follows these basic steps:

  • Someone is named as the administrator — also known as the executor — of the estate, either by the deceased person’s will or by court appointment.
  • The court verifies that the deceased person’s will is valid.
  • The deceased person’s property is identified, inventoried, and appraised so that assets may be distributed or sold.
  • Debts or taxes owed by the deceased person are paid.
  • The remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the will, or—in the absence of a will—by Arizona law.

What Does a Surprise Probate Attorney Do?

If you’ve been named administrator of a loved one’s estate, it is encouraged that you seek advice from an experienced Surprise probate attorney, as they will know the legal ins and outs of the process. Some of the services that a Surprise probate lawyer can provide include:

  • Assisting with the sale or distribution of estate property and assets.
  • Obtaining appraisals of estate-owned property.
  • Determining the taxes that are owed on the property.
  • Representing you in court if there should be challenges to the estate brought by beneficiaries.
  • Locating and securing assets that are involved in probate as well as those that aren’t. An example of a non-probate asset would be a life insurance policy.
  • Preparing and filing all documents required by probate court, paying heed to the deadlines involved in these filings.
  • The collection and disbursement of life insurance proceeds.
  • Dealing with the deceased’s retirement plans, such as IRAs and 401(k)s.
  • Advising their client as to any final debts owed by the estate.
  • Settling disputes between administrators and beneficiaries.
  • Re-titling the deceased person’s real estate into the names of the appropriate beneficiaries.
  • Distributing the remainder of the estate to beneficiaries after applicable debts and taxes have been paid.

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate

What happens if there is no will?

If a person dies without a will, his or her assets will be distributed according to Arizona law. The court will appoint an executor of its choice to oversee the distribution of the assets. Individuals can challenge the will, with the court making a decision as to the appropriate beneficiary for each asset.

How long does probate take?

According to information from the American Bar Association, the average estate completes the probate process within six to nine months after the initial filing in court. However, this timeline can grow quite a bit if there are challenges to the will or difficulties locating and appraising property belonging to the estate.

Does all property have to go through probate?

Not necessarily. If property is jointly owned, then ownership will remain with the surviving owner. Additionally, non-probate assets such as the proceeds from a life insurance policy, are payable upon death to the beneficiary specified in the policy.

What does “contesting a will” mean?

It means that you disagree with the dispensation of assets in accordance to the will for a specific legal reason such as incapacity, fraud, undue influence, or duress. Contesting a will is a legal process of its own and one that requires court filings.

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Appointment

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How We Select A
Local Legal Authority

Contributor to Magazine

The attorney must contribute valuable articles about their practice area to share with our readers in the Legal Advice section.

Maintain a 4+ Consumer Rating

The attorney must maintain a Google review rating of 4 or more stars.

Practice Law for 5+ Years

The attorney must have been licensed to practice law for at least five years and must have maintained an active practice.

What clients in Surprise are saying about
Brian G. Winter

Stewart Law Group
4.7
Based on 58 reviews
Attorney Colin S. Bell at Stewart Law Group, demonstrated proficiency as a defense counselor; he explained every detail of my case in a way I could fully understand the situation and I was able to stay calm in very stressful moments due to his advice.Colin kept me informed on everything relevant to my case; his professionalism, knowledge & experience, were evident in court.Mr. Bell was successful providing an excellent defense representation in my legal matter. I would highly recommend Attorney Colin S. Bell, to anyone who needs legal advice or defense representation in court!!
Eduardo Fuentes
Eduardo Fuentes
17:46 07 Jun 21
Thank you Stewart Law Group specifically, Brian Winter. Brian made a very difficult and emotional situation as tolerable as possible. We appreciate his knowledge, support and candor when needed. We always felt like we had someone in our corner and for those that have to deal with any highly emotional ordeal, that is worth it’s wait in gold.Thank you Brian and Stewart Law Group!J & M Herrera
Michelle Herrera
Michelle Herrera
01:21 16 Mar 21
This is the first time I felt like I was not “Undergunned” Jennifer Mihalovich was very knowledgeable, and straight to the point not wasting my time or money. Jenny and her team were very responsive and I highly recommend Jenny and want to say Thank you all for the Help.
sam russler
sam russler
23:11 21 Sep 20
If you are ever in need of a lawyer that will be by yourself and check on how you're doing Christa is definitely the one you want. Christa guided me and made sure my children and mine own interest were always first.
Johnny Barba
Johnny Barba
22:17 31 Aug 20
We had the best experience with Christa Banfield. She was empathetic to our case and took the time to get to know us. She has experience and advises her clients that is in the best interest of a child. I highly recommend her services. What a pleasant experience and am so appreciative to have Christa on our side.
Brandi Byers
Brandi Byers
18:27 17 Aug 20
I highly recommend Stewart Law Group Colin Bell. He was helping my son under 18-year-old to get through a very emotional family legal matter. Colin Bell met me and my son with extreme professionalism and kindness. He was incredibly knowledgeable and empathetic in giving my son counsel as well as being clear and timely. My son and me were able to get in to see him promptly. It is very clear that he is a lawyer who loves what he does! He has integrity, incredibly intelligent, and he really cares about helping people, which is exactly why his such a great lawyer. He does all of this seemingly with such ease and I am so impressed by him expertise and compassion.Thanks Colin Bell!
Jen “Jen Jonas” Jonas
Jen “Jen Jonas” Jonas
04:35 07 Apr 20

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Brian G. Winter

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Probate Attorney

Surprise Probate Lawyer

Brian G. Winter

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(623) 323-6961

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15331 W Bell Rd #212, Surprise, Arizona 85374

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