How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask LADYLAWYER Your Own Question

LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6531
Experience:  Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
7887522
Type Your Legal Question Here...
LADYLAWYER is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, and thank you for taking my question. I will need the

Resolved Question:

Hello, and thank you for taking my question. I will need the expertise of an attorney well versed in Arizona estate law. My father passed away about two months ago and he lived in AZ. He had no will and there is no personal representative. His estate was mostly in a trust of which I am a successor trustee. The trust consisted of a house worth about $65,000 and a bank account containing about $3000. His assets outside of the trust consisted of a car worth about $1000 and a bank account containing about $2500. I have been told that holding assets in a trust negates the requirement for probate for those assets. I've also been told that since his estate outside of the trust was under $50,000 that probate is not required for those assets. Can you confirm both of these for me? Also, I've been told that since probate is not required, a notice to creditors in the local newspaper is not required. Is this true? If a notice to creditors is not required, how long must we wait to distribute the assets of the trust? Also, is there something called an Affadavit for Collection of Personal Property to transfer the assets that were not in the trust? Is this something I need to produce and file with a court or is it just presented to the financial institution? Is this something I can do without hiring an attorney? I realize I have asked a lot of questions here, but please take the time to answer them as completely as you can. I don't mind paying a little more. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 1 year ago.

LADYLAWYER :

Hello,



Thanks for choosing Justanswer.com! I look forward to helping you with legal information today and am happy to answer your multiple questions, including any follow ups you may have. If you would like to leave a bonus after we are thorugh, that is fine, but you are not obligated to do so.


 


 

LADYLAWYER :

I have already typed my answers out in Word to you and am just going to copy and paste them here in the Chat.

LADYLAWYER :

1) A living trust will avoid probate if, and only if, the property is transferred into the living trust before death. In the case of real property, the property must be transferred by a deed naming the trustee of the trust as the grantee. It sounds as if this has been done with your father's trust and therefore, none of the assets in the trust would have to be probated.

LADYLAWYER :

2) Section 14-3971(B) of the Arizona Revised Statutes provides that in certain situations, an Arizona probate can be avoided if the value of ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY in the decedent's estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000 as of the date of death. This procedure involves preparing an Affidavit more than thirty days after the decedent's death that contains certain language and delivering the Affidavit to a person indebted to the decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action belonging to the decedent.


All of the following conditions must be true to use this Affidavit procedure:


1. Thirty days have elapsed since the death of the decedent.


2. Either: (i) an application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is not pending and a personal representative has not been appointed in any jurisdiction and the value of all personal property in the decedent's estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000 as of the date of death, or (ii) the personal representative has been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed and the value of all personal property in the decedent's estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000 as of the date of the Affidavit.


3. The claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property.


A transfer agent of any security shall change the registered ownership on the books of a corporation from the decedent to the successor or successors on presentation of an Affidavit pursuant to this less than $50,000 of personal property exemption.


The motor vehicle division shall transfer title of a motor vehicle from the decedent to the successor or successors on presentation of an Affidavit pursuant to this less than $50,000 of personal property exemption and on payment of the necessary fees.


 

LADYLAWYER :

3) While you do not have an obligation to publish a Notice to Creditors for an estate that is not going to be probated, the claims of any creditors against the estate can persist longer than they would under probate or an interested person can go to probate court and challenge the distribution, thereby forcing probate of the estate.


 


A non-probate transfer is a valid transfer effective at death by a decedent who, prior to death and acting alone, had the power to revoke or withdraw the transfer and who could have used the property for his own benefit or to satisfy creditors. Under A.R.S. § 14-6102(I), a transfer of real estate by right of survivorship is specifically excluded from the definition.This definition is broad enough to cover most common forms of property transferred by beneficiary designation, such as insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, pay-on-death designated bank accounts and securities with transfer-on-death designations. It appears it would not cover stock or accounts held as joint tenancies because the decedent would not ordinarily have the power to terminate the joint tenant’s interest unilaterally. The definition clearly includes transfers at a person’s death by common revocable trusts such as the one your father had.


 


Arizona law makes the recipients of non-probate transfers liable to the decedent’s probate estate for claims of creditors and statutory allowances to the decedent’s spouse and children to the extent the probate estate is insufficient. This includes trust beneficiaries. If the trustee of the decedent’s trust has already distributed assets to beneficiaries, those beneficiaries are liable to creditors of the decedent to the extent of their inheritance. If a creditor desires to initiate a proceeding to enforce the liability, a demand must be made upon the personal representative of the estate to present a claim to the trustee. If the personal representative refuses to do so, the creditors may, at their own expense, initiate a proceeding to require abatement. The action must commence within two years of the date of death, unless a claim has been submitted and disputed, in which case the limit is 60 days after final allowance. The personal representative may give notice to transferors of non-probate transfers, including insurance companies and trustees, that there is a deficiency in the probate estate. Upon such notice, the transferor may become liable if distribution is made without satisfaction of the claims of creditors.


 


So...botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you do not need to publish notice to creditors for an estate that is not being probated, but the creditors have up to two years to lay claim to a non-probated estate's assets.

LADYLAWYER :

4) You do not need to wait to distribute non-probatable assets in a trust or small estate. That being said, please note my answer to #3, wherein a creditor can still lay claim to the non-probatable assets for up to two years after the date of death.

LADYLAWYER :

5) You need to wait 30 days after death in order to transfer assets under 50K that were not in the trust, but an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property is the correct way to do this. I am not sure what County you are in, but here is the Maricopa County Packet and your jurisdiction may have something very similar: www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/sscdocs/packets/pbse1.pdf. Just call the probate clerk in your county to find out. Otherwise, you can just use this generic form here: forms.lp.findlaw.com/form/courtforms/state/az/az000011.pdf.

LADYLAWYER :

To collect personal property (not real property), you will take the Affidavit for Collection of All


Personal Property to the person who has the personal property (cash, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, cars, jewelry, etc.) of the person who died. If you are claiming title to a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle division will transfer title to you upon payment of any required fees.

LADYLAWYER :

You do not have to file the Affidavit for Collection of All Personal Property with the court.

LADYLAWYER :

Okay then, I *think* I have answered all of your questions, but please let me know if you have more follow ups or need clarification on something! Thanks so much!

Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 1 year ago.
Hi Steven! Customer Service contacted me to say you were having trouble with the live chat. Thus, I have switched the format and hopefully, you can view it now. If you have any further questions after reading it, please let me know! If not, would you kindly leave me a positive rating for helping you? Thanks, Steven!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi Ladylawyer, Thank you so much for your answer. I am not a lawyer and do not understand all the legalese but I'm hoping that I can put my understanding into words and you can tell me if my understanding is correct.


 


Here is the way I understand things. My father's trust consisted of real estate worth $65,000 and a bank account worth $3000. The fact that these assets were in a trust negates the requirement for probate for these assets. Am I correct in this understanding?


 


Dad's assets outside of the trust consisted of a car worth $1000 and a bank account worth $2500. Since these are worth less than $50,000, no probate is required for these assets. Am I correct in this understanding?


 


So, no probate is required for any part of Dad's estate. Please confirm that I am correct in this understanding.


 


If my understanding is correct and no probate is required and no notice to creditors is required, claims against Dad's estate can be filed for up to two years after death. Is there any way to file some kind of notice to reduce that time to file claims to four months or some other length of time less than two years?


 


I am sorry to be so anal in my questions but I am trying to clear up the "legal fog" in my mind. Please answer specifically my questions above where I have asked if my understanding is correct.

Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 1 year ago.

Hi Steven! Happy to keep assisting you. I will go through your questions one by one.

Here is the way I understand things. My father's trust consisted of real estate worth $65,000 and a bank account worth $3000. The fact that these assets were in a trust negates the requirement for probate for these assets. Am I correct in this understanding? Yes, that is correct. Any assets in a trust do not need to be probated under AZ law.

Dad's assets outside of the trust consisted of a car worth $1000 and a bank account worth $2500. Since these are worth less than $50,000, no probate is required for these assets. Am I correct in this understanding? Yes, that is correct. Any estate (note: "estate" does not mean "trust") worth $50,000 or less in personal property does not have to be probated in AZ. Personal Property includes furniture, jewelry, artworks, cars, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.

So, no probate is required for any part of Dad's estate. Please confirm that I am correct in this understanding. Yes, your understanding is correct.

If my understanding is correct and no probate is required and no notice to creditors is required, claims against Dad's estate can be filed for up to two years after death. Is there any way to file some kind of notice to reduce that time to file claims to four months or some other length of time less than two years? The only way to reduce the time the creditors have to file a claim is if everything was probated. Probate can take up to a year or two, so while the creditors may not be able to file a claim after 60 days, no one is going to be able to do anything with the assets until probate is over. Your choice then, is to distribute and use the assets in the trust and estate now, with the knowledge that the creditors can file a claim against them for up to 2 years OR probate the assets, thereby extinguishing the creditors' claims after 60 days, but having to wait to do anything with the assets until probate is over.

LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6531
Experience: Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
LADYLAWYER and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions

Chat Now With A Lawyer
LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER
Lawyer
6531 Satisfied Customers
Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts