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Questions Answered by Ilene L McCauley
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 »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Oct 26, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. This sounds like quite a difficult process.

I don't want to give you any advice, based upon what you wrote. Here is what I think you need to do:

1. Determine the value of the real estate, and whether or not the real estate is in the trust to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Easiest, least expense way to deal with a $1,800 final disbursement payment made to my deceased fathers estate.

In Maricopa County, AZ. Father was a widower with two equal heirs, myself and brother, he has (had) a will and trust document drawn up. I also obtained an estate EIN. His only account transferred as a POD account. No other assets, except this $1,800 check.

Could the check payable to... Read more »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Oct 8, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

Now let me answer your question. If the $1800 dollar account is all there is, then you and your brother probably need to prepare a small estate affidavit. This affidavit will need to be signed and notarized by both of you. Sometimes the financial services...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Can my two brothers, who are and were living in my father's house stay in the home now that he's passed?

His final will and testament didn't include his new address. The will was made over 30 years ago with his old address. He owns his current home free and clear. No outstanding debts.

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Oct 5, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

Even though this seems like a simple questions it is not. It is actually a very complicated question because the law is very complicated. It is complex in order to make certain that none of the people involved are committing fraud.

So, In order to...
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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.

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 23, 2020

Residency is a facts and circumstances test. However, a Last Will which was created in Wyoming, will generally work in Arizona, if residency has changed.

Probate will depend upon whether or not the beneficiaries have control over the assets. There are many ways to find out about...
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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 »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 23, 2020

I am sorry for your loss.

Unfortunately, when people do not put their wishes in writing, problems arise. What she said before her death, without written proof, may no longer apply. Her children are the best ones to open probate to get control of her assets. I recommend working with...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: My father passed away September 14. He owned property before he married his current wife. Rights of his children?

The original Will allowed his wife to remain in the home until her death and then property would be transferred to us. 2 weeks before he died he changed the Will and left everything to her. We believe coercion was involved? What are our rights? How do we find out who his attorney is?

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 21, 2020

Mr. Price is absolutely correct. You need to see the Will immediately. You will also need to hire an attorney to represent your interests. Justia has many attorneys who will be able to help you. My best advice is to act quickly.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Am I entitled any part of the family owned business.

I was the bosses daughters boss at another job. We ended up getting married but before we got married, the dad asked me to come work for him. I worked there for 16 yrs and ran the place for 10-12 yrs. Parents of wife said that I would always have job if we ever got divorced. Part of the business... Read more »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 21, 2020

The laws of community property may apply here if your husband had any rights in business. Your divorce attorney can obtain information on ownership of the company. Information may also be available on the ACC website if the business is an Arizona entity. I would strongly recommend you go online... Read more »

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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

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 15, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

It is difficult for me to answer your questions with the facts you give me. I need to know whether your sister had other family...children, spouse or other brothers and sisters. Also who are creditors? Is there a mortgage (in AZ called Deed of Trust) on the...
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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.

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 2, 2020

I am so sorry for your boyfriend's loss.

In reading your question, all I can say is sometimes small estates can be very complicated.

In Arizona you can transfer assets, including vehicles with a Small Estate Affidavit. That is used for estates with personal property, cash and...
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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 »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Sep 1, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

As you can see below, there is no simple answer to your question. The law is complex and the rules of Community Property even more so. The law seems clear, different facts and circumstances can change the result.

I would strongly advise you to contact...
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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.

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Aug 31, 2020

Absolutely, you need an attorney.

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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?

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Aug 28, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

Generally speaking, when a husband and wife set up a trust the Trust is written so that the Trust assets stay in the trust, until both of them are gone.

If you believe that there are problems with this Trust, then I strongly urge you to bring a copy...
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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.

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Aug 25, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

You can apply for copy of your father's death certificate online. I believe the office is:

Department of Health | Vital Statistics | Order a Vital Record www.state.nj.us › health › vital › order-vital

That being said, the situation...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Somehow my dad's ex girl friend was a beneficiary on his bank account and took 117000 out can I contest the beneficiary

they haven't been together in over 7 years and they only dated for 4. I can't even believe he had her on the account in the first place. Also, it was in a money market account not his checking shouldn't the money market account have a different beneficiary

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Aug 7, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

I also believe it would be helpful to check with a litigation attorney, this type of situation is very difficult to litigate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Father in law recently passed. Widow not abiding his wishes to give his kids belongings, items prior to marriage. Hers?

Father in law did not have a will. He always told everyone what he wanted to leave to his biological kids. Widow now says he never said those things. She is refusing to give anything to anyone. Can his kids fight for what their dad always promised them? Widow is now giving those items to her... Read more »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Jul 30, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

You will have to hire an attorney to represent your interests. You have rights, but they may only be enforceable by court order.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: My brother and I are the only 2 hiers for my mother which I am executor my mother was willed a house but did't transfer

My mother did not transfer deed before she passed I am currently living in house it is going to be separate probate is my brother entitled to half

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Jul 28, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

I am not certain I understand your question. I am not certain if the property is currently in your mother's name, or in the name of someone else.

Can you explain the situation to me of how this house is titled today? Then I may be able to answer...
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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: My mom died without a will Dec 2, 2019. Her only major asset is the house, located in Park Scottsdale.

There is a reverse mortgage and credit debts, as well as this year's property tax, probably totalling a little over $300,000. This area is being re-developed- a teardown was bought across the street and the new build sold for 1,150,000. Our lot is about 1/4 acre, to be sold as is. How do I... Read more »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Jul 28, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

I believe an informal probate is fine, as long as you retain an attorney in your area to help you. The other attorney is correct, insofar as many informal probates are rejected, because loved ones try to start this process themselves.

You need a...
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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
Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Jul 20, 2020

I would also recommend that you make an objective, rather than emotional decision here.

Probate, like divorce, raises many emotions which can change your decisions. I recommend that you consult with another attorney, before your decision is final. I also want to add that when you hire a...
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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Mom died with no will. Car is paid for but home is in forclosure. Do I still file in probate court?

Mom left no payable life insurance and hardly any $ in her checking account.

I am last surviving child and I paid for cremation services but can't afford to pay off her debt or save the house which is financed to the max, there is no equity in the home.

The car might bring... Read more »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Jul 8, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss.

In Arizona, when and estate is small, that means has personal property of $75,000 or less, you can use a small estate affidavit to obtain assets. Most banks have this type of affidavit. The sale of the car can also be done with the affidavit. I don't...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: Deceased Grandfathers, (will loffice complex in his name , where son works and lives , dad dies ,(will) wife wants it ..

Son is in grandfather will , wife wants to use fathers will , its in gtandfathers name still , who gets it ?

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Jun 29, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. However before I can answer your question I need the following information:

1. When did your grandfather pass? Did he have a Will? Was the Will ever sent to probate, or was a probate opened without a will ?

2. When did your father pass? Did he have a...
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