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Arizona Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Criminal Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Heir of an intestate Arizona estate engaged in discovery. Estate had conservator for 5 years. What order do I need?

My subpoena revealed account numbers & signature cards. During a meeting with the banker they looked up one of the accounts & said there had been a substantial amount of activity giving the impression business was being conducted from an account. A call was made with me present. Banker said... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Mar 24, 2021

You'll likely need to hire an experienced probate attorney to help with this. It's a complicated situation that is impossible to answer with the information provided.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Can I Write a Will in One State and Have It Witnessed by a Notary in Another?

I am interested in writing a will, but I need two witnesses to this will. My brother, who will be receiving nothing from the will, will be one of the witnesses. Since I have no other witness, I was thinking about using a notary public from a bank to be my second witness. I have an account at a... Read more »

Douglas Price
Douglas Price answered on Mar 20, 2021

To sign a self-proving will in Arizona (which is the kind you want to have) you need 2 witnesses and a notary and everybody must be present with you when you sign. If I understand what you are proposing, you will be one witness short. In addition, your brother, if he is a beneficiary under the... Read more »

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.

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Mar 19, 2021

You’ll want to consult an experienced estate planning attorney to help you set this up correctly.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: I have a question about my grandparents estate that is currently being held by the Department of treasury.

I have a copy of the will where he states who each property would go to. We also know he had life insurance and his business that was not distributed properly or at all for that matter. The homes he left to family in the will were in Forclosure due to the person not distributing everything the way... Read more »

Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley answered on Mar 9, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss.

I apologize. I don't know if I understand you completely. If the estate is being held by Treasury, is it because there are back taxes which need to be paid?

To answer your other question. A copy of the Will won't be enough. The will must be...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: How do I go about writing a will in this situation?

I am a middle aged woman who is receiving SSI, and I would like to write a will. Upon my death, I plan on giving all of my household goods to a thrift store, and I would like to place money on the side to pay for any outstanding debts. Also, I am concerned about my personal information regarding my... Read more »

Andre Lee Pennington
Andre Lee Pennington answered on Feb 26, 2021

It is always tricky drafting legal documents without the assistance of a professional. I recommend talking with an experienced estate planning attorney or at minimum a certified legal document preparer. He or she can help you get squared away. Have a wonderful day!

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: My dads significant other, not married, showd copy of trust disinheriting biokogical children and now she is acting ...

against his wishes. keeping his remains and estate. trust is not even two months old

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 27, 2021

How do you know that was not his wishes? Is it not possible that he knew he did not have much longer to live and took action (e.g., creating and funding a trust) to ensure that his estate would be distributed according to his wishes.

It is theoretically possible to overturn an estate plan,...
Read more »

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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?

Douglas Price
Douglas Price answered on Dec 16, 2020

The answer to your question depends on a number of factors including how the title to the home was written and whether your parents had wills or a trust and what those documents stated. We would be glad to assist if you can provide our office with more information. As a child of your parents you... Read more »

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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.

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 »

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...
Read more »

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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 »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 7, 2020

https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/media/4062/pbse1z.pdf

Sorry for your loss. I hope the information above helps you resolve the issue.

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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...
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 »

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...
Read more »

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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?

Douglas Price
Douglas Price answered on Sep 19, 2020

The first thing to do is to see the original will. If the wife has it she will need to submit it to probate court and the Clerk will then have the original. You have a right to see it and to question it, especially under the circumstances. One question I have is the value of the house, in... Read more »

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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.

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 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...
Read more »

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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.

Douglas Price
Douglas Price answered on Aug 24, 2020

Good afternoon,

Since your Dad was a New Jersey resident you need a New Jersey lawyer to assist. Perhaps the lawyer could start with a letter to your sister. I recommend one of my law school classmates who is licensed in New Jersey, Micahel D. Carroll. Give him a call or send an email:...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: A person with green card marries a US citizen, they pass away. What spousal benefits is the illegal entitled to?
Kyndra L Mulder
Kyndra L Mulder answered on Aug 18, 2020

What are you saying? Is the person a green card holder (LPR) or is the peson an illegal? A person can not be both.

If the person is an LPR with conditions s/he must remove the conditions by filing a waiver of the joint filing requirement.

If the person is a 10 year green card...
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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

Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Aug 7, 2020

You could challenge the beneficiary designation. It may be difficult though and would heavily depend on the facts of your situation. You should consult a probate litigation attorney.

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