Assistance with Preparation of Court Documents -- (Flat Fee Services)
Under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for me to prepare court documents for you without being the attorney of record in your matter. After your initial consultation with me, I will discuss various options with you to achieve your goals. Should you decide that you only need assistance with preparing documents to take possession of property or get appointed as a personal representative (executor), guardian and/or conservator, I will charge you a flat fee for my services. All filing fees and other costs are included. There will not be any additional hourly fees – unless you need assistance. To get started, I simply gather the necessary and correct information from you. I will draft the pleadings or documents and file and record them as needed. The goal here is for you to have a document that is ready for presentment to others that evidence your legal authority.
Informal Appointment of Personal Representative (Executor) With or Without a Will
An informal appointment of personal representative is the quickest and cheapest way to get appointed as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate. There is no hearing before the court – just a lot pleadings to be completed and filed. I can usually get someone appointed in five days or less depending on the circumstances. To be appointed, you must be nominated in the decedent’s will or if there is no will, you are the sole heir to the estate or all others that have the same priority as you to be appointed have renounced that right to appointment in writing. There are several documents that need to be completed and filed with the court – including the original will if there is one. I will draft all the documents and email them to you for your signature. I will also send you the appropriate training videos. Once this is completed, I will file the documents on your behalf and obtain a certified copy of “Letters of Personal Representative”. You will then have the legal authority to take actions on behalf of the estate.
Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property
An Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property is used to give you the right to collect personal property of the decedent no sooner than thirty days after his or her death, so long as you are legally entitled to the property. Personal property can include personal belongings, vehicles, bank accounts, etc. This does not include real property – which is land or a home. The Affidavit can only be used if the total estate value (estate’s total assets minus the estate’s debts) is less than $75,000.00, and a personal representative has not been appointed an no one else is seeking appointment. The Affidavit is not filed with the Court, but signed by you, under oath before a Notary Public.
Affidavit for Transfer of Title to Real Property
An Affidavit for Transfer of Title of Real Property is used to give you the right to collect real property of the decedent no sooner than six months after his or her death, so long as you are legally entitled to the property. Real property can include a home, lot, land, etc. The Affidavit can only be used if the total value of the real property is less than $100,000.00 (property value minus liens and encumbrances), and a personal representative has not been appointed and no one else is seeking appointment. The Affidavit is filed with the Court, after it is signed by you, under oath before a Notary Public or the Clerk of the Court.
Proof of Authority
A Proof of Authority is used when the decedent has property in Arizona, but you were appointed as the personal representative (or executor) in another state. Arizona requires that you file the Proof of Authority here in Arizona. Once the Proof is reviewed, approved and certified by the court, you will have the same authority in Arizona as a duly-appointed personal representative. You can then take possession of the decedent’s property and take actions on behalf of the estate. I can usually have the Proof of Authority issued within five days depending on the circumstances.
Guardianship Report and Conservatorship Accountings
A guardian is required to file an annual report with the court regarding the status of the ward. This includes information about the ward’s physicians, benefits, services, and assets. The first report is due 9 months after your appointment as guardian, then annually thereafter. Conservatorship accountings are similar but deal only with finances. The accounting must provide an explanation for every single cent of the ward’s (or protected person’s) estate used by you, the conservator. If the accounting is not done properly, the court accountant will not approve it and require you to fix the errors until you get it right.
I am willing to prepare deeds for transfer of title to real property subject to a limited scope representation. Some examples of deeds that I prepare are Deed of Distribution; Special Warranty Deed; Quit Claim Deed (only under special circumstances; these are not liked by title companies); Spousal Disclaimer Deed; Beneficiary Deed and Corrective Deeds.
REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION
To request a free consultation regarding court document assistance, please complete the form below. Do not send any specific confidential information without speaking with Bernard Justice Johnsen Law first (see Disclaimer below).