Changes to Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure

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 the ward, protected person, estate or trust. Also requires fiduciaries, their counsel, the ward/protected person’s counsel or court-appointed counsel to timely disclose to the Court their belief that projected costs of complying with a court order may exceed probable benefits.

Rule 18 permits a party to file Notice that another party has made a repetitive filing for the same or similar relief within last twelve (12) months. Filing such a Notice stays the deadline for response or objection to the alleged repetitive filing until further order by court, but must be filed prior to the deadline for filing a response or objection to the alleged repetitive filing.

Rule 22 provides mandatory default language for court orders appointing a fiduciary in a case involving assets which will be restricted, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. The changes to this rule also requires language stating that the Order appointing a fiduciary is not effective until Letters of appointment are issued by the Court.

There are additional changes not mentioned here. Plus, more changes to the rules are coming which will be effective on September 1, 2012. Contact an experienced probate attorney if you have questions or need advice about these changes.