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Questions Answered by Gregory Christopher Poulos
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Who owns the property ?

My stepmom and father passed away within two weeks of each other. My dad survived her by 10 days. The deed to their house is set up for right to survivorship. For probate purposes is my dad the sole owner of the house (since she passed away before him) or is it community property (split equally in... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Jul 10, 2021

The answer to this question is in a reading of the deed. That document controls what happens.

For most Arizona deeds for married couples, the title is held in community property with an additional paragraph or page that says upon death the share goes to the surviving spouse. Older deeds...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Can a errevocable trust be changed. My step mom is trying to remove me from my dad's and hers trust. My dad has passed

I was a successor to the trust. I was told my step brother is now successor. My dad wanted a church to get a percentage, I was told she removed them from the trust. I was told by my step brothers wife in secret, that it was asked if I should be removed aswell. I have no paper work on what is an... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Jul 4, 2021

Ms. Whitehurst is absolutely correct. You should request a copy of the trust. I suspect that you will not get a response and should consider hiring an attorney to make the request for you.

You have to understand though that if your step mother had the right under the trust to control the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Probate for Arizona on
Q: As a Executor how long legally can you hold claim to this title?

My sister and brother are executors of my mothers affairs. 9 years later my parents mtg servicing co sends statements to the estate of my parents both named both deceased. The deed is recorded with my name and the 2 executors. While 1 other brother and I are paying pymts taxes insurance and all... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on May 16, 2021

If nothing was filed with the courts, then they are only named as Executors, they have no power as they are not court appointed. I presume you are living in the property, but you need to speak with an attorney sooner rather than later. They are taking advantage of you, not following proper... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: How do i get the deed in my name after probate? I

My step-dad left the house to my mom in his will. She never put it in her name. Both have passed. His wife illegally put the house deed in her name. We went through probate. I won. The judge said the wills are valid and she has no legal claim to the house. Illness,covid, and family deaths all hit... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Apr 19, 2021

I agree with Mr. Pennington. You question is a bit confusing because you should have just done a deed of distribution from you as the Personal Representative to you as a beneficiary. It is unclear what you did and why you did it. I also recommend that you hire counsel to resolve this as soon as... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: My grandfather passed away in 2019 now I’m being asked to sign a paper what could it be?

I know all of his grandchildren were named in his will but now my mom won’t tell me what this paper says beforehand......

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Apr 18, 2021

Totally agree with the other attorneys. I would not be surprised if you are presented with the document and asked to sign it right then and there. Unless you are totally comfortable with what it say and what it means. Do not do that. Ask for time to think about it and then call an attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Refinancing will only be in Husbands name. How do I protect home in my name as well and not lose if we should separate

My husband is not my sons biological father and I want my son to have my home if something should happen to me. Although my husband is on the Mortgage it is my home.

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Mar 19, 2021

I agree with Mr. Pennington. I have seen too many cases where this is not done properly and when one party dies, the failure to plan this out creates very unintended and unfortunate events. This is further complicated by the fact that you are married. If you want to protect the potential gift of... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Can a PR (who is also a beneficiary) withhold inheritance until beneficiary sign a waiver/release/contract?

And Does a beneficiary have to waive all their rights in order to get an inheritance?

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Jul 20, 2020

I agree with my colleagues that this is pretty normal. What is missing from your question however is whether or not you have been provided with any information about the estate. If you have been provided any kind of accounting of what the estate consisted of, what the expenses were and what the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: What are my rights on firing my current lawyer in the middle of a probate case
Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Jul 15, 2020

I would only add to Peter Westby's answer, which I agree with, that you should be aware that you or more likely the estate might be liable for the attorneys legal fees up to the point of termination. Your engagement agreement might control that.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: As successor trustee of my mother's revocable trust, am I required to transfer title of her property?

My mother passed away a month ago. I am successor trustee of her revocable trust and executor of her will (she resided in AZ). I plan on selling her property right away. Am I required to transfer title in c/o my name as TTE? It was suggested I file informal probate bc she owed a substantial amount... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Jun 8, 2020

There is a piece of information that may missing from your question. That is, whether the property was in the name of the trust or her name only. The answer to that question will help guide your question about which direction you have to go. If the house is in fact in the trust which your question... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Are assets in a irrevocable trust az state pay to debtors before sole beneficiary
Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on May 17, 2020

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately it is a complicated one that requires more information. At the outset, you refer to debtors, but presumably you mean creditors? The answer to this question really depends on a reading of the irrevocable trust to determine if the payments to the beneficiary... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: My friend before passing away gave me her truck and keys
Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on May 8, 2020

Title to vehicles are transfer with signatures on the truck title. Giving you the truck and keys, while evidence of your friend's intent does not give you title. The person or persons legally entitled to the truck, if there was no will, is your friend's family. You may want to reach out... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: My father passed five months ago and there’s no open probate and his will has not been recorded. Is this normal?

My father and I didn’t have a lot of contact over the years, but he did tell me both that he had a will and that I was included in it. I don’t know how to find out since there appear to be no records. I believe my half-sister is living in his home and possibly intentionally concealing his will.... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Apr 16, 2020

I totally agree with attorney Pete Westby. I would suggest you do a search with the Maricopa County Recorder to determine whose name is on the title. Meeting with an experienced probate attorney is in order.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Probate for Arizona on
Q: I have a question about getting property back from an estate where the person died without a will.

My ex husband and I were married for 15 years. We divorced in 2015. In 2016, my ex husband and I had moved back in together into the home we shared while we were married. If Feb 2018 we had a fight and he filed a restraining order against me, preventing me from returning to the house and getting... Read more »

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Mar 20, 2020

You may have to open a probate as a creditor of the estate, but I would suggest starting with correspondence to the son about this. Perhaps a letter from an attorney might help resolve this without going to court.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Re: A family trust 3 children, trust is to divide equally. In the trust, property is "conveyed' to one son by parents

as his sole and separate property. 3 children are the beneficiary's.

Question: Does "divide equally" mean the son has to buy the home from the trust?

Or, does it mean son gets the home as parents wish and whatever is left in the trust is then divided equally 3 ways?

Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos answered on Jan 9, 2020

I agree with the other attorneys who have responded. Understanding that I have not read the trust it appears possible that the trust is addressing two separate distributions - one for the home and a second general distribution to be divided equally between all three children. If the trust says the... Read more »

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