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Questions Answered by Andre Lee Pennington
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Is it required to file a final accounting in Maricopa County of Arizona with informal intestate probate court?

I have paid all creditors and surpassed the notice mark long ago (back in June 2020). All that's left to do is distribute to myself and two other heirs. The jargon on packet three of Maricopa informal probate is confusing. It seems it isn't necessary unless I feel it is required or my... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Jan 5, 2021

One option is to file waivers of accounting (along with a release of liability and waiver of notice of any further filings) from the other beneficiaries with the court. That helps “skip” some steps. I hope that helps. Happy New Year!

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: What do i need to do to protect myself from anyone taking the house. From me?

Iive been purchasing a home from the owner the last 7 years and the owner just died worried the owner sister pulled a bunch of trickery trying to get me out of house when owner was real sick in the hospital awhile back so i fear she will strike again

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Jan 1, 2021

This will likely come down to the contract that you had with the owner/decedent and his/her estate plan. You should have an experienced attorney review all.

Happy New Year!

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: My mom died and her husband died 10 months later. The home they had was in both names.

I found out that the husbands son has been paying the mortgage and taxes on the property. Am I entitled to anything?

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Dec 16, 2020

It depends how the home was titled and whether there were estate planning documents. I recommend reaching out to an experienced probate attorney to help sort through it all.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning, Collections and Small Claims for Arizona on
Q: Is a loan company supposed to pursue the executive of state of a deceased person before pursuing co-signer.

Loan company was paid 19k from insurance. Deceased person left remaining balance of 1k due to late payments. Company asked for death certificate to pursue the executive of state but insist that I am liable for the remaining balance.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Dec 3, 2020

There are 2 areas of law here. If you co-signed for the loan, you are jointly and severally liable, which means they can come after you, as well as affect your credit score. Sorry for the bad news.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Both my sister and I are joint executors on my dad’s estate. My sister is asking me to re-move/RE-enunciate myself?

My sister lives in Colorado & I live in Arizona...What would be the purpose in removing myself as executor?

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Nov 17, 2020

Often times there are logistical challenges to co-executors. For instance, requiring double signature on everything like selling a home or opening a bank account. Additionally, oftentimes co-executors do not agree and it makes it difficult to settle the dispute.

This is something...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Can an attorney legally conceal the fact that his client has died?

Please tell me there could be consequences for an attorney and beneficiaries who knowingly conspired to conceal the fact from the executor and estate attorneys that one of a will’s beneficiaries has predeceased the decedent. The deception preceded the beginning of probate, continued for several... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Nov 12, 2020

I do not believe that I totally understand what occurred. It sounds like their are some facts that have been left out of your question. Generally speaking a beneficiary does have to survive the decedent for a required period of time, and I am confused how an attorney would get a client during... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Received collections letter for my deceased mother, after Notice to Creditors was published & claims deadline passed.

My mom was in the process of filing bankruptcy when she passed away 6 mo ago, but hadn't filed with court. I am successor trustee of her trust, but her attorney wouldn't release her file without a subpoena & retired within days of my contact with him. Without knowledge of who her... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Nov 2, 2020

It's generally good that the 4-month window has closed; however, there is a requirement to send a notice to all known creditors, as well. Creditors could argue that they are entitled to a notice directly. It depends on what steps you took to locate any known creditors. Another factor is how... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Can i make my stepmother produce a will for my late father or at least tell me if there was one? I am his only child.

I was told by him he had a will. I am on disability due to a disease inherited from him. He said he would take care of me. I live in AZ but he resided in Indiana.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Oct 27, 2020

Short answer: Yes.

As an heir of the estate you are entitled to a copy of the Will. There are several ways to go about it. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: I signed a contract releasing beneficiary interest in real estate it was drafted and notarized by the attorney who

Represented testator. He also had the power to make decisions regarding my trust, but I was never told exactly what those were. Release says “I have discussed this with my trustee”, but I was never told I could seek independent counsel. My trustee said that I discussed with him and attorney... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Oct 26, 2020

There are some facts that do cut against you in this case; however, there are a lot of details that an attorney would need to know beyond what you've provided here. Your best bet is to get with an experienced probate attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Native American Law for Arizona on
Q: Co-trustee and current beneficiary wants to resign and make me Trustee of Land trust - I'm successor and 2nd beneficiary

The Trustor was my Uncle, and he died in 2017. He and his ex-wife are co-trustees for the land trust, I believe his name is still on it because she couldn't get a death certificate (they divorced in 1987). The ex-wife wants to resign as co-trustee and walk away, leaving me the trust and... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Oct 26, 2020

I concur with Ilene.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Non Arizona resident parent has been moved here so we can provide in home care.

The intent was for them to regain strength and return to a senior facility in Wyoming. If they die here are they subject to Arizona laws such a probate for estate? The Will was created in Wyoming with only money as assets.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Sep 23, 2020

The total facts and circumstances really matter. It's worth a sit down with an experienced attorney to discuss. It can be really important to get ahead of issues like this, so things run as smoothly as possible. It may also be worth looking into a trust or other mechanism for transfer that... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: How can I collect personal belongs of my ex mother in laws who passed when her boyfriend doesnt wanna give us her stuff?

My ex mother in law died in a car accident 3 days ago, she didnt have a will but has stated to multiple people that I was the one that she wanted to be executor. she was suppose to get in writing but died before doing so. She was living with her boyfriend who is a drug addict and was abusive to... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Sep 23, 2020

The surviving children will need to step up as they are the ones with lawful authority. Unfortunately, verbal statements are not enough in situations like these.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: My sister died in AZ without a will, do I need to wait 6 months to transfer her house title to myself to sell it?

I can use the small estate transfer by value of her assets, is this the best process? If I file for probate to sell her house will I have to pay her creditors

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Sep 15, 2020

It depends on the assessed value of the home whether you're allowed to use that process. There are a lot of unknown important factors that make it difficult to completely answer your question. I'd reach out to an experienced probate attorney so that he or she can get the facts required... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Can trustee put stipulation on my trust money at disbursement?

Sister (trustee) added at disbursement time, once check is cashed I can not pursue any further recovery from her or estate, which I plan to do. Actually needed that money to pay for my lawyer.

Thank you in advance!

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Sep 12, 2020

Generally speaking, it is a normal part of the trust administration process to seek a release of liability for the Trustee when finalizing a trust administration. You do not have to sign; however, it would likely hold up the process for you receiving your distribution (and maybe others) from the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Officiating intestate succession. Boyfriends father dord 08/18/20, no will, and small estate only.

Vehicle and some money, no other assets or debts. He and siblings are obviously heirs but do they need to officiate that they are? They need to get hos vehicle out of impound asap but only in dads name.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Sep 2, 2020

The time constraint adds an element that is more difficult to address without probate. However, here is some good information for small estates; the only things is the decedent has to be dead for at least 30 days for it to be used:

https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/llrc/prob_pbse1/...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: I bought 2.5 acres in 1991 for $27,500 and built a 1100 sqft building on it and moved in 1997.

In 1998 I married my wife and in 2000 started a 3100 sqft addition to the building. In 2010 my wife had a stroke and all work stop. In 2020 my wife died without a will, the property is still in my name only.

My wife had a daughter from a previous marriage she is asking for half of the... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Sep 1, 2020

This is a complicated question that also involves family law, probate law and is factually dependent. You'll likely need to reach out to an experienced probate attorney.

Here is the relevant law:

14-2103. Heirs other than surviving spouse; share in estate

Any part of...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: My siblings and I are apparent heirs to an estate. Do we need representation in probate court.

A fiduciary LLC has filed a petition requesting a hearing. An emergency hearing has been scheduled for 9/8. Another hearing labeled Miscellaneous(Appearance) is scheduled for 9/22. We have received solicitations to be represented for a percentage of the estate. Decedents may have died intestate.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Aug 29, 2020

You’ll definitely want to talk to an experienced probate attorney to review the matter with you so that you can understand the process and your rights.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: my aunt set a trust up and named her husband the trustee. can we get money before he dies if it states not until he die

My aunt has passed, The trust supposedly states no monies to paid out until he dies. Can we get past that?

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Aug 28, 2020

It really depends on how the Trust is written. You probably want to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney that has Trust litigation experience to have him or her review the Trust.

Most times Trusts are written for the benefit of the surviving spouse, but not always.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: How do I get a copy of my dads Death Certificate and his Will? I live in Arizona and my dad lived in New Jersey?

My sister is not cooperating with me at all. She claims all papers including his Will, and Death Certificates were destroyed in a mysterious house fire last year. My dad left some property and money behind and I believe my sister has been lying about everything.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Aug 28, 2020

This is a question for a New Jersey attorney. Most states have rules that require executors/personal representatives to provide a copy of the Last Will and Testament to surviving heirs.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Mother passed and left myself and one sibling her home in will. I have since misplaced will.

Other sibling and family moved in with me, after a fight, the other sibling filed and was granted a restaining order forcing me out, and is now taking me and beneficiary sibling to probate court. What can i do? I dont know attorney that helped us.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Aug 10, 2020

The first thing that comes to mind is contacting the old attorney to see if there is a copy of the will; however, under the rules of not having a will in probate, it sounds like you and your sister would potentially split the home 50/50. You may want to pull the deed to see how it is deeded. You... Read more »

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