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Wood Law Firm PLLC

6837 North Oracle Road Suite 105
Tucson, Arizona 85704

* Please note that contacting us does not establish an attorney client relationship. No such professional relationship exists unless the Wood Law Firm, PLLC, has agreed in writing to accept your case.

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Use this form to contact us for further information about our legal services. This form is not for providing legal advice; we do not give legal advice to persons who are not our clients. Response to your inquiry will depend in part on whether you live in the Tucson area or need to arrange for the services of a Tucson attorney.

 

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Elder Law

Elder Law includes issues that can arise as a senior citizen. One of the most common is guardianship and conservatorship, which can become necessary when we lose capacity to make our own decisions, and we have not already provided for that by the execution of powers of attorney.

Probate & Estate FAQ

Does having a Will mean no probate? Can impaired persons sign Powers of Attorney? My husband or wife died without a Will. My disabled child just turned 18. Do I need a Living Trust to avoid probate?

Does having a Will mean no probate?

When someone dies, whether there is a Will or not does not determine the legal requirement to probate the estate. The technical expression for a deceased person (“decedent”) with a Will is “testate”. A decedent who died without a Will is called “intestate”. The issue of probate is not determined by whether the decedent was either testate or intestate. The legal requirement for probate in any particular case is usually determined by the property that is still in the decedent’s name.
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Can impaired persons sign Powers of Attorney?

Probably not. To sign Powers of Attorney, a person must have the legal “capacity” to do so. The person needs to understand what he or she is signing and how the document will work to appoint an agent for healthcare or financial decisions. When a person who has dementia is mentally incapacitated beyond a certain point, and a family member or other concerned person wants to act as the agent for the incapacitated person, there may need to be a court-ordered guardianship and/or conservatorship.
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My husband or wife died without a Will.

A deceased person without a Will is “intestate”. If the decedent had children with a previous husband or wife other than the surviving spouse, those children may have an interest in part of the estate. If the deceased person left property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTWROS) then the surviving joint tenant/s will have a right to that particular property. If someone dies without a Will and there are no children by a previous spouse, and there are no other people with ownership interests in property the decedent left, then the surviving spouse probably will be entitled to all the property left by the decedent. Whether or not there will need to be a probate of the decedent’s estate is another question.
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My disabled child just turned 18.

You may very well need to be court-appointed to be your child’s guardian, and if the child has a financial estate to speak of then you may also need to be appointed his or her conservator.
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Do I need a Living Trust to avoid probate?

Maybe yes, but probably not. The State of Arizona makes it relatively easy for people to pass on their property without expensive trusts or complicated probate procedures. “Beneficiary Deeds” are a tool the legislature has given us to designate death beneficiaries for real estate that would otherwise trigger probate due to the value of the property. Financial assets can also pass to death beneficiaries or joint owners, without having a trust or requiring probate. However, everyone should be very cautious about making a non-spouse a co-owner of a financial account by designating them a joint tenant.
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Tucson Probate & Estate Blog

We have opened a probate. Now what?

One of the first surprises to our clients in the opening of a probate is that the money going to the state is only $193.00 for the court’s filing fee and perhaps some minimal amounts for certified documents (around $28.00 […]

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How does the family prepare for an elder’s future?

This can be a trick question because if we are talking about an older family member who is mentally unimpaired, in other words still making and communicating reasonable decisions about his or her health and finances, then that elder would […]

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Do We Need to Have a Probate? Maybe Not.

We receive a lot of phone calls from family members when someone has passed away. The questions usually include whether or not a probate of the decedent’s estate will be necessary. Sometimes yes, a particular case falls within legal requirements […]

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Tucson Probate and Estate Planning

Tucson Estate Planning, Probate and Guardianship Attorney

At the Wood Law Firm, we are committed to provideing affordable legal services including estate planning, wills, probate, guardianship, conservatorship and elder law matters to those in Tucson and the surrounding community.

We Understand that Your Needs Are Personal

The asset distribution wishes, probate assistance, elder care needs, and conservatorship and guardianship desires of each client will be different. We take the time to understand these aspects so that we can provide legal advice and prepare the legal documents that meet the needs of each client.
We deliver responsive, individual attention to our clients. Calls are answered by people, never voicemail.

At the Wood Law Firm, We Deliver Trusted and Timely Legal Services to the Community of Tucson

Attorney Henry Wood is a member of various Bar Associations and is also a Licensed Fiduciary, registered by the Arizona Supreme Court.