Arizona Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: How do I file an objection to set aside administration? I question the validity of my dad's will.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 17, 2019
Peter H. Westby's answer
This is a complicated matter and I strongly recommend that you hire a probate lawyer to assist you. Since the proceeding is in Nevada, you should speak with a Nevada probate lawyer.

Q: I want to transfer my home into a revocable trust. I was told I need to submit an affidavit of property or state an exe

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 12, 2019
Ryan K Hodges' answer
The exemptions are found at A.R.S. § 11-1134, https://www.azleg.gov/ars/11/01134.htm. Subsection (B)(8) usually applies to transfers to trust, but you should review it and the others to be sure it fits your situation.

Q: my husband and I jointly own new vehicles with clear titles, don't yet have wills but intend for them to go to our son.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 10, 2019
Ryan K Hodges' answer
An agent under a power of attorney cannot usually transfer assets to himself. That is typically considered self-dealing and not allowed. On the other hand, you may look into ADOT MVD Form 96-0561, Beneficiary Designation for Vehicle Title Transfer Upon Death, and really you should get a last will and testament in place.

Q: When does a POA expire? At death?

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 10, 2019
Ryan K Hodges' answer
A POA can have a specified time to expire. If it does not have a stated expiration date, then it ends at death.

Q: Is there a specific format that an amendment to a Revocable Living Trust in Arizona must be in to be considered legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Mar 11, 2019
Ryan K Hodges' answer
An amendment can be challenged if it does not comply with the form of an amendment provided for in the trust or if it has other legal defects. As far as I know, the court does not offer a particular form for doing so. The court has a generic objection form that could be adapted to that purpose.

Q: My grandmother passed away and my mother was her executor, my mother passed away in November of 2018 I'm told someone

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Arizona on
Answered on Mar 9, 2019
Ryan K Hodges' answer
You may need to get a new executor appointed depending on the status of the estate and remaining assets. You should consult with a probate attorney.

Q: Is a joint tenancy deed executed and notarized 2017 not recorded until 2019 is it still valid

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Feb 28, 2019
Ryan K Hodges' answer
The deed is probably still valid assuming the owners under the deed have not sold their interest in the meantime.

Q: Forclosure auction on property that is in a Trust, my 5% inheritance is in jeopardy. Estate Rep is doing nothing.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Arizona on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
If the house is auctioned for more than is owed, then the excess proceeds should be turned over to the trust. You would still receive your share from those excessive proceeds. The downside is that houses usually sell for less than at auction than they would in a private sale.

Q: I have a home that my wife is on the deed but not on the mortgage. What happens if i die and what document do i need

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Dec 3, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
Having her on the deed is a good step. If the deed states that you own it jointly with rights of survivorship, then she will become the sole owner upon your death. This, however, does not remove or invalidate the mortgage in any way. The debt will still need to be paid.

Q: I wrote a will in California and since moved to Arizona. Are estate planning laws any different?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Nov 2, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
The estate planning laws are different. However, Arizona will generally recognize a will that is validly executed in another state. You may still want to consult an attorney about your estate plan and documents.

Q: Will the surviving spouse automatically be given the house where we live & own free & clear?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Oct 22, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
If you are both on the deed with rights of survivorship, then upon the death of the first spouse, the survivor will automatically become the sole owner. However, this done eliminate liens or mortgages that may be against the property. Those will still apply.

Q: Is a will or trust preferable to set up when you have assets in excess of $100,000?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Oct 20, 2018
Marcus N. Seiter's answer
This all depends on many factors such as your family makeup/dynamics, the types of assets you have, your health, expected longevity, and who you want to inherit those assets.

A will-based plan can be adequate for some people with even a few hundred thousand in assets depending on circumstances, while a person with even less may find a trust-based plan to be more suitable.

I suggest that you speak to some Estate Planning attorneys in your area about these questions. Many offer...

Q: How does Arizona view self-made wills? I got mine notarized. Does that change anything?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
Self-made wills can be valid just like ones done by attorneys. If it is type-written, it must be signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction and signed by at least two people, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after that person witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will. Notarization is actually not...

Q: What should be included in a final will and testament?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Sep 23, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
All of your personal and real property, and your instructions, who and how the property is to be distributed to your heirs.

It is for this reason, you should find a local attorney who can help you properly prepare your final will and testament.

Q: Is this a criminal or probate matter?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Sep 20, 2018
Gary Kollin's answer
Talk to the estate lawyer

Q: My grandfather died without a will. He owned two small plots of property. What happens now?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Sep 10, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
Depending on the value of the properties, the heirs could use a small estate affidavit to transfer the properties to themselves without the need for a full probate. The court probably has the forms on its website, depending on what county they are in.

Q: Are beneficiaries of an estate able to "buy" assets of the estate with no cash? Can I offset future proceeds by IOU?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Sep 5, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
A personal representative can make in-kind distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. These distributions, of course, count toward their total share of the estate.

Q: What rights does a residuary beneficiary have in AZ to see all information re: estate debts, expenses, property, assets?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Answered on Aug 27, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
The amount of information you are entitled to depends on whether the assets are held in an estate or trust. If it is an estate, the personal representative must give you an initial inventory from the date of death and an income and expense report (i.e. accounting) from then until final distributions. If it is a trust, the trustee must provide similar information from time that the trustee is appointed, which is usually the date of death, but it may not be. See ARS Title 14, Chapter 3, Articles...

Q: I am residuary beneficiary in my dad's estate. Trustee is joint on 1 property and beneficiary on another.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Answered on Aug 26, 2018
Peter H. Westby's answer
This depends upon the instructions given to the Trustee in the Trust. It may be appropriate. If the Trust is unclear or if you believe that the Trustee is acting improperly, an action can be filed with the Court to address these issues. Where a Trustee is abusing his/her authority, the Trustee can be removed by the Court and a new Trustee appointed. I recommend that you review the facts of this matter with an Attorney. Once your attorney has reviewed the trust document and learned all of...

Q: My brother died in Feb. Will we ever be able to get a clear titles on his vehicles to sell them? (34K owed on them)

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Answered on Aug 20, 2018
Ryan K Hodges' answer
Because the estate is proceeding under NM law, you will need to ask NM attorney for sure. Frankly, the estate will probably need to sell the vehicles to clear title and pay off the lienholders.

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