USA Statutes : arizona
Title : Trusts, Estates and Protective Proceedings
Chapter : GENERAL PROVISIONS, DEFINITIONS AND PROBATE JURISDICTION OF COURTS
14-1102 Purposes; rule of construction
A. This title shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying
purposes and policies.
B. The underlying purposes and policies of this title are:
1. To simplify and clarify the law concerning the affairs of decedents, missing
persons, protected persons, minors and incapacitated persons.
2. To discover and make effective the intent of a decedent in distribution of his
3. To promote a speedy and efficient system for liquidating the estate of the
decedent and making distribution to his successors.
4. To facilitate use and enforcement of certain trusts.
5. To make uniform the law among the various jurisdictions.
14-1103 Supplementary general principles of law applicable
Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this title, the principles of law
and equity supplement its provisions.
14-1106 Effect of fraud and evasion
If fraud has been perpetrated in connection with any proceeding or in any statement
filed under this title or if fraud is used to avoid or circumvent the provisions or
purposes of this title, any person injured thereby may obtain appropriate relief against
the perpetrator of the fraud or restitution from any person, other than a bona fide
purchaser, benefiting from the fraud, whether innocent or not. Any proceeding must be
commenced within two years after the discovery of the fraud, but no proceeding may be
brought against one not a perpetrator of the fraud later than five years after the time
of commission of the fraud. This section has no bearing on remedies relating to fraud
practiced on a decedent during his lifetime which affects the succession of his estate.
14-1107 Determination of death and status; rules
In addition to the rules of evidence in courts of general jurisdiction, the
following rules relating to a determination of death and status apply:
1. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical
2. A certified or authenticated copy of a death certificate purporting to be issued
by an official or agency of the place where the death purportedly occurred is prima facie
evidence of the fact, place, date and time of death and the identity of the decedent.
3. A certified or authenticated copy of any record or report of a governmental
agency, domestic or foreign, that a person is missing, detained, dead or alive is prima
facie evidence of the status and of the dates, circumstances and places disclosed by the
record or report.
4. In the absence of prima facie evidence of death under paragraph 2 or 3, the fact
of death may be established by clear and convincing evidence, including circumstantial
5. A person whose death is not established under paragraphs 1 through 4, who is
absent for a continuous period of five years, during which time that person has not been
heard from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained after diligent search or
inquiry is presumed to be dead. That person's death is presumed to have occurred at the
end of the period unless there is sufficient evidence for determining that death occurred
6. In the absence of evidence disputing the time of death stated on a document
described in paragraph 2 or 3, a document described in paragraph 2 or 3 that states a
time of death one hundred twenty hours or more after the time of death of another person,
however the time of death of the other person is determined, establishes by clear and
convincing evidence that the person survived the other person by one hundred twenty
14-1108 Acts by holder of general power
For the purpose of granting consent or approval with regard to the acts or accounts
of a personal representative or trustee, including relief from liability or penalty for
failure to post bond or to perform other duties, and for purposes of consenting to
modification or termination of a trust or to deviation from its terms, the sole holder or
all co-holders of a presently exercisable general power of appointment, including one in
the form of a power of amendment or revocation, are deemed to act for beneficiaries to
the extent their interests, as objects, takers in default or otherwise, are subject to
the power. 14-1201 Definitions
In this title unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Agent" includes an attorney-in-fact under a durable or nondurable power of
attorney, a person who is authorized to make decisions concerning another person's health
care and a person who is authorized to make decisions for another person under a natural
2. "Application" means a written request to the registrar for an order of informal
probate or appointment under chapter 3, article 3 of this title.
3. "Beneficiary", as it relates to a trust beneficiary, includes a person who has
any present or future interest, vested or contingent, and also includes the owner of an
interest by assignment or other transfer. As it relates to a charitable trust,
beneficiary includes any person entitled to enforce the trust. As it relates to a
beneficiary of a beneficiary designation, beneficiary refers to a beneficiary of an
insurance or annuity policy, an account with pay on death designation, a security
registered in beneficiary form or a pension, profit sharing, retirement or similar
benefit plan, or any other nonprobate transfer at death. As it relates to a beneficiary
designated in a governing instrument, beneficiary includes a grantee of a deed, a
devisee, a trust beneficiary, a beneficiary of a beneficiary designation, a donee,
appointee or taker in default of a power of appointment and a person in whose favor a
power of attorney or a power held in any person, fiduciary or representative capacity is
4. "Beneficiary designation" refers to a governing instrument naming a beneficiary
of an insurance or annuity policy, of an account with pay on death designation, of a
security registered in beneficiary form or of a pension, profit sharing, retirement or
similar benefit plan, or any other nonprobate transfer at death.
5. "Child" includes a person who is entitled to take as a child under this title by
intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved. Child excludes a
person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild or a more remote descendant.
6. "Claims", in respect to estates of decedents and protected persons, includes
liabilities of the decedent or the protected person, whether arising in contract, in tort
or otherwise, and liabilities of the estate that arise at or after the death of the
decedent or after the appointment of a conservator, including funeral expenses and
expenses of administration. Claims does not include estate or inheritance taxes or
demands or disputes regarding title of a decedent or a protected person to specific
assets alleged to be included in the estate.
7. "Community property" means that property of a husband and wife that is acquired
during the marriage and that is community property as prescribed in section 25-211.
8. "Conservator" means a person who is appointed by a court to manage the estate of
a protected person.
9. "Court" means the superior court.
10. "Dependent child" means a minor child who the decedent was obligated to support
or an adult child who was in fact being supported by the decedent at the time of the
11. "Descendant" means all of the decedent's descendants of all generations, with
the relationship of parent and child at each generation.
12. "Devise", when used as a noun, means a testamentary disposition of real or
personal property and, when used as a verb, means to dispose of real or personal property
13. "Devisee" means a person designated in a will to receive a devise. For the
purposes of chapter 3 of this title, in the case of a devise to an existing trust or
trustee, or to a trustee on trust described by will, the trust or trustee is the devisee
and the beneficiaries are not devisees.
14. "Disability" means cause for a protective order as described in section 14-5401.
15. "Distributee" means any person who has received property of a decedent from that
person's personal representative other than as a creditor or purchaser. Distributee
includes a testamentary trustee only to the extent of distributed assets or increment
that remains in that person's hands. A beneficiary of a testamentary trust to whom the
trustee has distributed property received from a personal representative is a distributee
of the personal representative. For the purposes of this paragraph, "testamentary
trustee" includes a trustee to whom assets are transferred by will, to the extent of the
16. "Estate" includes the property of the decedent, trust or other person whose
affairs are subject to this title as originally constituted and as it exists from time to
time during administration. As it relates to a spouse, the estate includes only the
separate property and the share of the community property belonging to the decedent or
person whose affairs are subject to this title.
17. "Exempt property" means that property of a decedent's estate that is described
in section 14-2403.
18. "Fiduciary" includes a personal representative, guardian, conservator and
19. "Foreign personal representative" means a personal representative appointed by
20. "Formal proceedings" means proceedings conducted before a judge with notice to
21. "Governing instrument" means a deed, will, trust, insurance or annuity policy,
account with pay on death designation, security registered in beneficiary form, pension,
profit sharing, retirement or similar benefit plan, instrument creating or exercising a
power of appointment or a power of attorney or a dispositive, appointive or nominative
instrument of any similar type.
22. "Guardian" means a person who has qualified as a guardian of a minor or
incapacitated person pursuant to testamentary or court appointment but excludes a person
who is merely a guardian ad litem.
23. "Heirs", except as controlled by section 14-2711, means persons, including the
surviving spouse and the state, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate
succession to the property of a decedent.
24. "Incapacitated person" has the same meaning as prescribed in section 14-5101.
25. "Informal proceedings" means those proceedings conducted without notice to
interested persons by an officer of the court acting as a registrar for probate of a will
or appointment of a personal representative.
26. "Interested person" includes any heir, devisee, child, spouse, creditor,
beneficiary and other person who has a property right in or claim against a trust estate
or the estate of a decedent, ward or protected person. Interested person also includes a
person who has priority for appointment as personal representative and other fiduciaries
representing interested persons. Interested person, as the term relates to particular
persons, may vary from time to time and must be determined according to the particular
purposes of, and matter involved in, any proceeding.
27. "Issue" of a person means descendant as defined in paragraph 11 of this section.
28. "Joint tenants with the right of survivorship" and "community property with the
right of survivorship" includes co-owners of property held under circumstances that
entitle one or more to the whole of the property on the death of the other or others but
excludes forms of co-ownership registration in which the underlying ownership of each
party is in proportion to that party's contribution.
29. "Lease" includes any oil, gas or other mineral lease.
30. "Letters" includes letters testamentary, letters of guardianship, letters of
administration and letters of conservatorship.
31. "Minor" means a person who is under eighteen years of age.
32. "Mortgage" means any conveyance, agreement or arrangement in which property is
encumbered or used as security.
33. "Nonresident decedent" means a decedent who was domiciled in another
jurisdiction at the time of the decedent's death.
34. "Organization" means a corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership,
joint venture, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency or any other
legal or commercial entity.
35. "Parent" includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take
if the child died without a will, as a parent under this title by intestate succession
from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a
stepparent, foster parent or grandparent.
36. "Payor" means a trustee, insurer, business entity, employer, government,
governmental agency or subdivision or any other person who is authorized or obligated by
law or a governing instrument to make payments.
37. "Person" means a person or an organization.
38. "Personal representative" includes executor, administrator, successor personal
representative, special administrator and persons who perform substantially the same
function under the law governing their status. A general personal representative
excludes a special administrator.
39. "Petition" means a written request to the court for an order after notice.
40. "Proceeding" includes action at law and suit in equity.
41. "Property" includes both real and personal property or any interest in real and
personal property and means anything that may be the subject of ownership.
42. "Protected person" has the same meaning as prescribed in section 14-5101.
43. "Protective proceeding" has the same meaning as prescribed in section 14-5101.
44. "Registrar" means the official of the court designated to perform the functions
of registrar as provided in section 14-1307.
45. "Security" includes any note, stock, treasury stock, bond, debenture, evidence
of indebtedness, certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas or mining title
or lease or in payments out of production under that title or lease, collateral trust
certificate, transferable share, voting trust certificate and, in general, includes any
interest or instrument commonly known as a security, or any certificate of interest or
participation, any temporary or interim certificate, receipt or certificate of deposit
for, or any warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of these securities.
46. "Separate property" means that property of a husband or wife which is his or her
separate property as defined in section 25-213.
47. "Settlement", in reference to a decedent's estate, includes the full process of
administration, distribution and closing.
48. "Special administrator" means a personal representative as described by sections
14-3614 through 14-3618.
49. "State" means a state, district, territory, possession or commonwealth of the
50. "Successor personal representative" means a personal representative, other than
a special administrator, who is appointed to succeed a previously appointed personal
51. "Successors" means persons, other than creditors, who are entitled to property
of a decedent under a will or this title.
52. "Supervised administration" refers to the proceedings described in chapter 3,
article 5 of this title.
53. "Survive" means that a person has neither predeceased an event, including the
death of another person, nor is deemed to have predeceased an event under section 14-2104
54. "Testacy proceeding" means a proceeding to establish a will or determine
55. "Testator" includes a person of either sex.
56. "Trust" includes an express trust, private or charitable, with any additions,
wherever and however created. Trust also includes a trust created or determined by
judgment or decree under which the trust is to be administered in the manner of an
express trust. Trust excludes other constructive trusts and excludes resulting trusts,
conservatorship, personal representatives, trust accounts, custodial arrangements
pursuant to chapter 7, article 7 of this title, business trusts providing for
certificates to be issued to beneficiaries, common trust funds, voting trusts, security
arrangements, liquidation trusts and trusts for the primary purpose of paying debts,
dividends, interest, salaries, wages, profits, pensions or employee benefits of any kind
and any arrangement under which a person is nominee or escrowee for another.
57. "Trustee" includes an original, additional or successor trustee, whether or not
appointed or confirmed by court.
58. "Ward" has the same meaning as prescribed in section 14-5101.
59. "Will" includes codicil and any testamentary instrument that merely appoints an
executor, revokes or revises another will, nominates a guardian or expressly excludes or
limits the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing
by intestate succession.
14-1301 Territorial application
Except as otherwise provided in this title, the title applies to:
1. The affairs and estates of decedents, missing persons and persons to be
protected, domiciled in this state.
2. The property of nonresidents located in this state or property coming into the
control of a fiduciary who is subject to the laws of this state.
3. Incapacitated persons and minors in this state.
4. Multiple-party accounts in this state.
5. Trusts subject to administration in this state.
This title does not apply to property of Indians within the jurisdiction of their tribal
courts or to lands held in trust by the United States for Indians.
14-1302 Subject matter jurisdiction
A. To the full extent permitted by the constitution, the court has jurisdiction
over all subject matter relating to:
1. Estates of decedents, including construction of wills and determination of heirs
and successors of decedents, and estates of protected persons.
2. Protection of minors and incapacitated persons.
B. The court has general jurisdiction to make orders, judgments and decrees and
take all other action necessary and proper to administer justice in the matters which
come before it including jurisdiction to:
1. Enforce orders against a fiduciary by contempt proceedings.
2. Compel action by a fiduciary by body attachment.
3. Hear and determine related claims by or against fiduciaries, protected persons
or incapacitated persons by or against third parties, including claims for malpractice,
breach of contract, personal injury, wrongful death, quiet title and breach of fiduciary
14-1303 Venue; multiple proceedings; transfer
A. Where a proceeding under this title could be maintained in more than one place
in this state, the court in which the proceeding is first commenced has the exclusive
right to proceed.
B. If proceedings concerning the same estate, protected person, ward or trust are
commenced in more than one county of this state, the court in the county in which the
proceeding was first commenced shall continue to hear the matter, and the other courts
shall hold the matter in abeyance until the question of venue is decided; and if the
ruling court determines that venue is properly in another county, it shall transfer the
proceeding to the other county.
C. If a court finds that in the interest of justice a proceeding or a file should
be located in another county of this state, the court making the finding may transfer the
proceeding or file to the other county.
14-1304 Practice in court
Unless specifically provided to the contrary in this title or unless inconsistent
with its provisions, the rules of civil procedure including the rules concerning vacation
of orders and appellate review govern formal proceedings under this title.
14-1305 Records and certified copies
The clerk of the court shall keep a record for each decedent, ward, protected person
or trust involved in any document which may be filed with the court under this title
including petitions and applications, demands and any orders or responses relating
thereto by the registrar or court, and establish and maintain a system for indexing,
filing or recording which is sufficient to enable users of the records to obtain adequate
information. Upon payment of the fees required by law the clerk must issue certified
copies of any probated wills, letters issued to personal representatives, or any other
record or paper filed or recorded. Certificates relating to probated wills must indicate
whether the decedent was domiciled in this state and whether the probate was formal or
informal. Certificates relating to letters must show the date of appointment. Certified
copies of letters shall not be issued if the appointment is terminated or the letters are
suspended or revoked.
14-1306 Jury trial
A. If duly demanded, a party is entitled to trial by jury in any proceeding in
which any controverted question of fact arises as to which any party has a constitutional
right to trial by jury.
B. If there is no right to trial by jury under subsection A or the right is waived,
the court in its discretion may call a jury to decide any issue of fact, in which case
the verdict is advisory only.
14-1307 Registrar; powers
The acts and orders which this title specifies as performable by the registrar shall
be performed by a judge, the clerk of the court, a court commissioner or any of such at
the selection of the presiding judge of the county designated by the court by a written
order filed and recorded in the office of the clerk of the court.
14-1310 Oath or affirmation on filed documents
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this title or by rule, each document
filed with the court or furnished to an interested person under this title including
applications, petitions, demands for notice, claims, inventories and accounts shall be
deemed to include an oath, affirmation or statement to the effect that its
representations are true as far as the person executing or filing it knows or is
informed. Each document filed with the court or furnished to an interested person under
this title is material and may subject the person executing or filing such document to
penalties relating to perjury and subornation of perjury.
14-1401.01 Notice to attorney general
Whenever it appears by suggestion of any interested person or the court that no
taker of the estate exists, either at the commencement of or during proceedings under
this title, notification of such proceedings shall be given to the attorney general.
14-1401 Notice; method and time of giving
A. If notice of a hearing on any petition is required and except for specific
notice requirements as otherwise provided, the petitioner shall cause notice of the time
and place of hearing of any petition to be given to any interested person or his attorney
if he has appeared by attorney or requested that notice be sent to his attorney. Notice
shall be given either:
1. By mailing a copy thereof at least fourteen days before the time set for the
hearing by certified, registered or ordinary first class mail addressed to the person
being notified at the post office address given in his demand for notice, if any, or at
his office or place of residence, if known.
2. By delivering a copy thereof to the person being notified personally at least
fourteen days before the time set for the hearing.
3. If the address or identity of any person is not known and cannot be ascertained
with reasonable diligence, or when otherwise required under this title, by publishing at
least three times prior to the date set for the hearing a copy thereof in a newspaper
having general circulation in the county where the hearing is to be held, the first
publication of which is to be at least fourteen days before the hearing.
B. The court for good cause shown may provide for a different method or time of
giving notice for any hearing.
C. Proof of the giving of notice shall be made at or before the hearing and filed
in the proceeding.
14-1402 Notice; waiver
A person, including a guardian ad litem, conservator or other fiduciary, may waive
notice by a writing signed by him or his attorney and filed in the proceeding.
14-1403 Pleadings; when parties bound by others; notice
In formal proceedings involving trusts or estates of decedents, minors, protected
persons or incapacitated persons, and in judicially supervised settlements, the following
1. Interests to be affected shall be described in pleadings which give reasonable
information to owners by name or class, by reference to the instrument creating the
interests or in other appropriate manner.
2. Persons are bound by orders binding others in the following cases:
(a) Orders binding the sole holder or all co-holders of a power of revocation or a
presently exercisable general power of appointment, including one in the form of a power
of amendment, bind other persons to the extent their interests, as objects, takers in
default or otherwise, are subject to the power.
(b) To the extent there is no conflict of interest between them or among persons
(i) Orders binding a conservator bind the person whose estate he controls.
(ii) Orders binding a guardian bind the ward if no conservator of his estate has
(iii) Orders binding a trustee bind beneficiaries of the trust in proceedings to
probate a will establishing or adding to a trust, to review the acts or accounts of a
prior fiduciary and in proceedings involving creditors or other third parties.
(iv) Orders binding a personal representative bind persons interested in the
undistributed assets of a decedent's estate in actions or proceedings by or against the
estate. If there is no conflict of interest and no conservator or guardian has been
appointed, a parent may represent his minor child.
(c) An unborn or unascertained person who is not otherwise represented is bound by
an order to the extent his interest is adequately represented by another party having a
substantially identical interest in the proceeding.
3. Notice is required as follows:
(a) Notice as prescribed by section 14-1401 shall be given to every interested
person or to one who can bind an interested person as described in paragraph 2,
subdivision (a) or (b) of this section. Notice may be given both to a person and to
another who may bind him.
(b) Notice is given to unborn or unascertained persons who are not represented
under paragraph 2, subdivision (a) or (b) of this section, by giving notice to all known
persons whose interests in the proceedings are substantially identical to those of the
unborn or unascertained persons.
4. At any point in a proceeding, a court may appoint a guardian ad litem to
represent the interest of a minor, an incapacitated, unborn or unascertained person, or a
person whose identity or address is unknown, if the court determines that representation
of the interest otherwise would be inadequate. If not precluded by conflict of
interests, a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent several persons or
interests. The court shall set out its reasons for appointing a guardian ad litem as a
part of the record of the proceeding.