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Arizona Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Divorce and Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: 1. Can a married couple file their our Will for distribution of half and half of our property?

The are specific in the Will about sealing and distributing the items and monies? Due to having started with a blended family.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 13, 2020

Wills do not get "filed" anywhere until after the testator/testatrix passes; until then they are private.

Planning for blended families can be complicated, especially if both spouses want to provide for the surviving spouse but still protect the inheritance of the children of the first...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: As second named trustee, can I file suit on behalf of the estate when first successor trustee chooses not to act?

I am the second named successor trustee of an irrevocable trust and the trust document’s only wording regarding succession states, “If ___ fails to act for any reason, then ____ shall act without bond”

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 17, 2020

First try to get the first named trustee to sign a resignation. Or, if a trust protector is named in the trust document, ask the trust protector to remove the first named trustee. If the foregoing doesn't work, hire a trust administration attorney to review the trust document to see what your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: The trustee of my fathers irrevocable trust breached many of her trustees duties . I hired an atty which I paid 14,000

Paid atty in order to get finacial records they would not give me because they could not interrupt the terms in the trust to determine what my interest was . I refused to sign a release of liabilities and the trustee refused to guve me an early distribution . The trustee Than charged me for the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 10, 2020

The best source of advice for this situation is your existing attorney, who knows the facts and circumstances better than anyone else besides yourself. If you are dissatisfied with your existing attorney, it is within your power to fire him or her and hire another attorney. Be prepared, however,... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Re: A family trust 3 children, trust is to divide equally. In the trust, property is "conveyed' to one son by parents

as his sole and separate property. 3 children are the beneficiary's.

Question: Does "divide equally" mean the son has to buy the home from the trust?

Or, does it mean son gets the home as parents wish and whatever is left in the trust is then divided equally 3 ways?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 8, 2020

It is not possible to answer your question without reviewing the trust document.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: My mother just died in California. Next of kin is her husband (my stepfather) and a total of four children.

There is no will. My sister has proclaimed herself executor of the estate. I'm in Arizona. How does her property get distributed?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 15, 2019

You need to identify which items in your mother's estate were her community property with your stepfather and which were her separate property. Under California law, your stepfather will inherit all of your mother's community property and one-third of her separate property. Your mother's children... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: im about to become a 61 year old widow in arizona ami financially responsible for my deceased spouses debts
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 9, 2019

It is not possible to answer your question without more information. Most likely yes you are liable to the extent of your half of the community property but there are rare circumstances in which you would not be liable. You really need to consult with an attorney about your individual circumstances.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Elder Law for Arizona on
Q: I have a General PoA for my elder dad, but bank requires a Durable poa. How can I get one if he's not cognizant?

He is currently hospitalized, but will be returning to long term care facility, and probably shortly, Hospice. His bank is requiring me to obtain a Durable PoA, but, obviously, I won't be able to get that prior to his passing. They said there are other instruments? My brother and I are named... Read more »

Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Dec 2, 2019

If you dad is in Pennsylvania, then you should probably consult an attorney there regarding options. In Arizona, most attorneys draft all POAs as durable one, but the law may be different in PA.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Arizona on
Q: I bought and am paying for a home but my aunt is on the title. What happens if she has to use ALTCS?

I bought a HUD home in Tucson, AZ for my Aunt to use. She could not afford to live on her own. Since it was HUD, she had to be on the title with me as she is the full time resident and I use it as a vacation home. I have paid all money for the home and continue to pay the mortgage. If she uses... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 22, 2019

Your question is missing important facts. Exactly how is the house titled? Tenants in common? If so, in what percentages? Or is the deed silent on that? Joint tenants with right of survivorship?

You do have a legitimate concern, plus other issues you may not have considered (such as...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Uncle in law passed 10 yrs ago,can't find his wife after she started probate. when will family get $$. we are in AZ

Wife started probate and then disappeared. My FIL is the next living heir. This has been in the courts for almost 10 yrs. There is a notice of potential heir (my FIL) stated in the court records but nothing else has been done. Last update to the record was 01/30/19. January will mark 10 yrs... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 18, 2019

Hire a probate attorney to help you petition the court to replace the executor on the grounds that the executor is failing to perform.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Husbands fathers Granddaughter was given medical Pos in Arizona. Hospital called her on Monday he Died on Wednesday

She took the car keys, the laptop the phone and still never called anyone she lied to the mortuary and said he was homeless with no family she cannot afford to pay for the cremation but she told us we have no rights We believe she was undue influence on him She will not show the will And just left... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 17, 2019

Powers of attorney have no effect after the principal dies. She has no authority.

Your best recourse is to hire a local probate attorney to help you probate the decedent's estate. If you don't have access the will, but you believe that she does, you can get the court to order her to turn...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Is ARS code 14-2503 valid to cover a person putting their hand on tetatrix to sign a will while having dimentia

Will was made 10 days before mom died, my sister adds her name on to inherit the house. Can this qualify as undue influence

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 27, 2019

The procedure you described appears highly questionable. You may have grounds to object to this will. The will may not qualify as a valid holographic will and/or your Mom may not have had testamentary capacity. I recommend reviewing this matter with a probate attorney as soon as possible. Once... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: My father passed away now mother's power of attorney is taking things from my dad's company how do I stop it?

Mother's not very compressive to what's going on. And these things belong to me

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 27, 2019

It is impossible to provide you with a quality response because there are so many missing details and the information you have provided could be interpreted in different ways. That said, IF all of your father's possessions passed to your mother and IF the POA has the authority to handle her... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Mother died and has a trust to be shared with 3 siblings. She also left a will to share the house and other things.

One brother wants to buy house which we agree on. Now we are told to add it to the trust by a lawyer retained by this sibling who is also the executor of the trust? Is that necessary? If so why and what are the advantages?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 15, 2019

There is no way to answer your question without reviewing your mother's trust and her will and the latest vesting deed.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: How can I verify that my mother's will and testament is legal and names me executor and distributor of all property?

Several months ago, my mother (who passed away last week) put together a last will and testament (based on a form from WillForms.org for the state of Arizona). It is signed, notarized, and doubly witnessed by two individuals not receiving any property under the will.

The will names me as... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 7, 2019

Show it to a local probate attorney. You are going to need to hire a probate attorney anyway to help you probate your mother's estate anyway. Your mother's things do not automatically vest in you; there are steps that need to be taken, and the sooner you take those steps the better.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: How can I stop my sister from spending my mom's money?

Mom has dementia and is in a assisted living home, a very expensive home. My sister is the Executor of the will and I think she may have guardianship or POA. Long story short but when we moved mom we decided as a family to spruce up the family home and rent it out to offset her costs. My sister has... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 23, 2019

I recommend that you consult an attorney about a conservatorship. Appointing a conservator will provide competent help for your mom with her financial affairs and safeguard her assets. A conservator is supervised by the court and must account annually.

If there already is a conservator...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Can a child of a deceased who has p of a while the deceased is still living transfer money from accounts before or after
Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Jul 15, 2019

It looks like your questions was cut-off. Please resubmit it.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: My father passed away in June of this year as a resident of Arizona.

My sister and I live in MA, My father was married to a woman who he shared no children and my sister and I were a previous marriage. He left no will. How do My sister and I protect our inheritance rights? The wife was hesitant to give us a photo album from our childhood never mind our inheritance.... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 15, 2019

Under Arizona law, when a married person dies without a will and has children from a previous marriage, the children from the previous marriage are entitled to one-half of all property that belonged solely to the person who died and half of the deceased's half of the community property. What... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: My dad wants to make me the executor of his estate and he needs to make a will. How quickly can this be done?

Father has net worth in millions including real estate, precious metals, stocks, insurance, etc.

Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Jul 12, 2019

Estate planning can be done fairly quickly, within a few weeks or faster if the circumstances require it. You should contact an attorney to get the process started.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: My aunt died with no will. I am her niece. She has a mobile home and car not worth more than 10 k. Can I sell them?

I am a niece only. There are no spouses, no children, no sisters, no brothers, I am the only niece and only family. She lived 40 miles from me however, she was sort of a recluse. Her mobile home isn't worth more than 5K and an old car. How do I take possession of items left in the mobile home, as... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 24, 2019

If you are truly the sole and closest living relative, you may file a small estate affidavit with the probate court (under $75,000 if she did not own the property on which the trailer sits, under $100,000 if there is "real property" (real estate) involved. There are a number of websites (use the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Arizona on
Q: will I get 1/2 of the equity?

Hi,

I am filing for divorce, we bought a house together under his name only after we had a foreclosure under my name. We were married a year after. we both have always paid 1/2 of the bills and even the down payment for the house was 1/2. we refinance and added my name 3 years ago. I do... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 20, 2019

In Arizona you are entitled to 50% of the community assets and responsible for 50% of the community debt unless you have evidence to clearly demonstrate why there should be an inequitable distribution.

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