Frequently Asked Questions about Estate Planning, Probate and Related
Probate, Trust Administration and Litigation
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming; we take special care in
providing compassionate counsel and guidance, and in helping to resolve estate
controversies involving beneficiaries and fiduciaries.
During this difficult time, we regularly communicate with you to keep you
informed of the status of the probate or estate/trust administration process.
Based on our extensive experience, we help you anticipate the length of time an
administration process should take and how much it should cost. We give you the
opportunity to choose whether to be very involved or less involved in the
Tierney is a Best Law Firms selectee for Trusts & Estates Law (Metro Tier 3)
Frustration and concern often result from what is required to administer an
estate and/or trust. We help you understand what to expect regarding post-death,
probate, and trust administration issues to ease this process.
We offer representation to personal representatives by filing the necessary
pleadings to become appointed as a fiduciary post-death, including the admission
of a decedent’s will to probate, and we offer assistance in preparing the
necessary pleadings required under law to complete the probate process. The
process can range from very simple to quite complex.
In trust administration matters, we provide the trustee with assistance in
fulfilling their fiduciary duties under the terms of the trust and pursuant to
state and other laws.
Unfortunately, sometimes beneficiaries and fiduciaries and other parties in
estate and trust matters disagree. We have the expertise to help fiduciaries and
beneficiaries navigate difficult matters in probate court, such as:
will and trust contests,
petitions for instruction,
recovery of estate assets,
breach of fiduciary duty,
fiduciary removal proceedings,
financial exploitation of vulnerable adults,
trust reformation and termination,
no-contest clause disputes and in terrorum clauses,
resolving other probate and trust ligation issues through
the court process or by family settlement agreements.
We also offer clients guidance in tax matters, such making the appropriate tax
elections including portability, QTIP elections, and obtaining family limited
partnership (FLP) discounts. We also defend clients in any tax disputes and in
IRS audit proceedings.
Our experienced probate
and trust administration attorneys provide legal services in the following
formal or informal probate proceeding in court, if required by law
Coordinate with title companies, real estate professionals and appraisers when
necessary to liquidate estate and trust assets
the trustee or personal representative in:
collecting the decedent’s assets, notifying the decedent's creditors, and paying
any debts of the decedent
an inventory and appraisement of estate and trust assets and complying with the
disclosure requirements under the trust and Arizona law
federal and state tax returns, reviewing for accuracy and minimizing any estate
or gift tax liability
transferring assets to beneficiaries designated by a decedent’s estate plan
funding and distributing estate and trust assets
closing documents to be filed with the probate court
post mortem planning
We provide post mortem
planning and professional legal advice to the surviving spouse in re-evaluating
their own estate plan.
We also provide advice to
beneficiaries to determine their own individual estate planning opportunities.