LEGAL SERVICES

 

Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney)


An estate plan allows individuals (i) to prepare for aging, disability, and end-of-life care and (ii) to decide what happens to their property after death. We advise clients on the different types of advance directives and estate planning documents available and create an estate plan that is appropriate for each client's individual situation. We prepare wills, living wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care powers of attorney.

 

Probate Estate and Trust Administration/Litigation


We counsel clients on how to manage trusts and estates. We represent and counsel clients throughout the process of probate administration (the process of administering a person's estate after death), including but not limited to:
    (i) admitting a will to probate,
    (ii) administering an estate pursuant to intestate succession if there is no will,
    (iii) applying/petitioning for appointment of a personal representative,
    (iv) determining heirs/beneficiaries,
    (v) collecting and securing the decedent's assets,
    (vi) dealing with creditor claims, and
    (vii) notifying, accounting, and distributing to heirs/beneficiaries.

We also represent clients in litigating trust and estate disputes (e.g. the validity of a will or trust, the mismanagement of a personal representative or trustee, creditor issues, disputes over property ownership, disputes between heirs/beneficiaries, etc.).

 

Small Estate Administration


Arizona law allows certain estates, due to their small size, to be collected without the time and expense of a probate. We counsel clients on whether a probate is required and, if possible, how to collect estate assets without opening a probate.

 

Adult Guardianships and Conservatorships

We represent clients in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. When a loved one becomes disabled or incapacitated, a guardianship and conservatorship may be required to protect that person and his or her property. Under Arizona law, guardianships and conservatorships allow for the necessary protection of adults who are incapacitated due to mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, or other cause. A.R.S. 14-5101(3).
 
Many of our cases involve elderly family members who are unable to make responsible decisions about their care or their property because they are suffering from dementia or other cognitive impairments that cause diminished capacity. An incapacitated adult and his or her property can become vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect.


A guardianship allows the guardian to ensure the welfare of an incapacitated adult and provide for the adult's demonstrated needs. A guardian helps make responsible decisions about the adult's healthcare, living arrangements, and protection against abusers or exploiters. A guardian also coordinates and monitors the adult's medical care, insurance, home health, and /or residential care.


A conservatorship allows the conservator to manage and protect an incapacitated or vulnerable adult's money and other property for the benefit of the adult. A conservator makes financial and business decisions for the benefit of the protected adult.

 

Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation


We help and represent vulnerable adults who have been abused or financially exploited. Unfortunately, adults who are vulnerable due to age, disability, or incapacity can fall victim to abuse, neglect, theft, and financial exploitation. We help clients take action against abusers and exploiters, seek civil damages when appropriate, and establish the protections necessary to avoid such abuse in the future.


 
Breach of Fiduciary Duty


A fiduciary is the generic term for a person that is acting on behalf of someone else. It is someone acting as a guardian, conservator, personal representative, trustee, agent under a power of attorney, etc. Arizona law imposes many duties on fiduciaries. We help educate and advise fiduciaries about those duties to help protect them from liability. We also represent those that have been harmed by a fiduciary's mismanagement and/or breaches of fiduciary duty (e.g. the beneficiaries of a trust, the heirs of an estate, or protected persons that have been harmed by a fiduciary's misconduct).

 

Fiduciary Administration


We educate and advise fiduciaries about their duties under the law, represent them in litigation, and counsel them throughout their administration as guardians, conservators, personal representatives, trustees, agents under a power of attorney, etc. The licensed fiduciaries at our office are licensed by the State of Arizona and can serve in these various fiduciary capacities as well.

 

Real Property Issues in Probate


We assist clients with various legal issues involving real property in probate, including, but not limited to, preparing deeds, transferring real property, quieting title to real property, and advising clients with property title issues in probate.

 
 
* The information on this website is only provided for general informational purposes. The information on this site does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The attorneys at this office are licensed in the State of Arizona. Arizona law may differ from the law in other jurisdictions. Every case is unique and anyone with a legal question or issue should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice. The information on this site may or may not apply to your individual situation. No reader of this site should act based on the information on this site without obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney.