Eugene, OR asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona

Q: What happens if the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary failed at locating proper next of kin or an honorable discharge?

My husband was found dead from suicide in 2005 and was handed over to the public fiduciary office as an "indigent" but they failed to figure out that he was a veteran with an honorable discharge or to locate me in the same county, or his father who was listed in the phone book in AZ! Instead they contacted the mother of a child whom he supposedly fathered, but he was not listed on the child's birth certificate and she was a minor. Together with the funeral home director they were able to sign a consent to cremate and took his ashes out of the state. Can anyone be held liable for this? I know the steps that were taken by the fiduciary. They pulled up his name in their search software and found a lein that had been issued against his SS# for child support. He ignored a child support order years prior and never contested it. The lein document had his current address which was never looked into. Shouldn't they have checked to see if he was a veteran?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Andre L. Pennington
Andre L. Pennington
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Surprise, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: In short, it depends on the steps taken by the fiduciary. I recommend contacting an experienced probate attorney to discuss.

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