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Recent Posts

Focus on the New Rules for Fiduciary Compensation

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | January 25, 2012

Under a previous blog article titled “New Rules Coming for Fiduciaries” we noted the requirement of a fiduciary to give advance notice of a change in compensation. That rule became effective on January 1, 2012. This posting will flesh that requirement out a little more. Under A.R.S. 14-5109 attorneys, fiduciaries, and other professionals involved in a guardianship/conservatorship case must give notice of intent to seek fees against a Ward’s estate when first appearing in the case. This notice must be…

Changes to Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | January 11, 2012

On February 1, 2012, new rules will go into effect under the Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure which govern issues within the purview of the probate court. Most of these changes are directed at the rules governing guardianships and conservatorships, although trusts and decedent’s estates are implicated as well. A sampling of some of the rule changes include the following: Rule 10.1 requires fiduciaries to exercise prudent management of costs including protecting against incurring costs that exceed probable benefits to…

New Standby Guardianships and Conservatorships

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | December 23, 2011

The Probate Court often had difficulty putting an adult guardianship or conservatorship in place for a person in need of protection who was still a minor but was about to become an adult. In most cases, the petitions seeking the guardianship or conservatorship for an adult were filed prior to the child’s 18th birthday in order to have protective provisions in place immediately when the child reached adulthood. However, this created a jurisdictional problem for the court because the child…

Pay Now, Pay Later

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | October 25, 2011

There is an old commercial for an oil filter which says you can pay the mechanic now to change the filter, or you can pay him a whole lot more later. The implication, of course, is that paying for something now may be less expensive in the long run. This axiom may also apply to your estate planning. A Will is a basic and more traditional estate plan, and is adequate for many, but not all, people. This type of…

Elder Abuse

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 8, 2011

Elder abuse can take many forms ranging from self-neglect arising from a vulnerable adult’s inability to care for his/her own needs, to financial exploitation, neglect, physical or even sexual abuse by third parties. Although Adult Protective Services (“APS”) investigated over six thousand reports last year, it is still thought this represents only the tip of the iceberg and that most elder abuse remains hidden and unreported. Recently, the iconic actor Mickey Rooney helped raise awareness on elder abuse concerns when…

Why Does A Probate Take So Long? What Can Be Done To Speed It Up?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 12, 2011

The majority of cases requiring probate administration are relatively straight forward matters that do not take a great deal of time. However, there are a variety of instances in which the “typical” probate administration is anything but usual. For instance, the recent recession has devastated home and land values. Probate estates heavy on these assets are lingering months longer than usual as the Personal Representatives attempt to sell devalued properties in depressed markets. In some instances, these can be circumvented…

Having Problems With A Fiduciary?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | June 30, 2011

A Personal Representative of an estate, a Trustee of a trust, and a Conservator for a protected person (also referred to as a Ward) are all fiduciaries who owe duties to the people whose assets are being managed by them. These fiduciary obligations require that the fiduciary act diligently, fairly, and keep detailed records. It is a high standard of care that all too often is not lived up to. So, what can you do if a Personal Representative, Trustee…

New Rules Coming for Fiduciaries

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | May 25, 2011

There have been a lot of articles in the newspaper about reform in the Arizona probate courts regarding guardianships and conservatorships. You may have read some of them. Those articles incited enough reaction that they got the Arizona legislature’s attention with the result that, on April 29, 2011, Governor Brewer signed SB1499 into law mandating substantial changes to the statutes regulating these kinds of protective proceedings. SB1499 (also known as the Probate Proceedings Omnibus Act) becomes effective on January 1,…

Welcome to our new Blog

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 31, 2010

Platt & Westby PC welcomes you to this new resource for breaking news and insights from our firm. We handle bankruptcy, real estate matters, family law and child custody matters, wills, trusts,probates, and estate and trust litigation.