Sacks Tierney P.A.

Member of Meritas: 173 full-service law firms serving more than 200 markets worldwide

480-425-2600

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Phoebe Moffatt

Phoebe Moffatt

Allyson J. Teply

Allyson Teply

Clifford J. Roth

Cliff Roth

Nadia S. Cunningham

Nadia Cunningham

 

ARTICLE

Frequently Asked Questions about Estate Planning, Probate and Related Topics

 

LEGAL SERVICES

 

Best Law Firms

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 administration process.

Sacks Tierney is a Best Law Firms selectee for Trusts & Estates Law (Metro Tier 3)

experienced counsel

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, and

  • 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.

professional assistance

Our experienced probate and trust administration attorneys provide legal services in the following areas:

  • Initiate 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

  • Assist the trustee or personal representative in:

    • collecting the decedent’s assets, notifying the decedent's creditors, and paying any debts of the decedent

    • preparing an inventory and appraisement of estate and trust assets and complying with the disclosure requirements under the trust and Arizona law

    • preparing 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

    • fully funding and distributing estate and trust assets

    • preparing the final 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.