Hi, welcome back to Rethink Your Legacy. This is Francisco Sirvent, Founder of Keystone Law Firm. Today, see what’s on the screen, really something exciting, we’re gonna look at the law.
What Is The Title 14?
Well, what we have here is Title 14. This is the main source of Law for Probate and Estate Planning. This, you know, Title 14. Maybe we see others that are relevant – there’s the Tax Section, there’s the Real Estate Section, there’s the Health and Medical Section. But this one, this is all relevant.
It’s just pieces of the other ones that are relevant. So I want to introduce you guys to Title 14. If you’re in the middle of facing a probate issue right now, somebody has passed away, and you don’t know what to do. I invite you to call.
Call the number below, if you click and schedule your free discovery call, my team will be happy to chat with you and figure out what’s going on. At the end of that little video, you can also click on the link right on this video.
You’ll see a pop-up towards the end, that will tell you a little bit more about that first appointment – what happens, and how to get that help. Okay?
In Title 14 – is that our firm – we limit what we do just to things that are either avoiding having to go to court under Title 14. That’s our estate planning stuff, or we are helping families go through it when necessary. It’s not a fun thing to have to go to the probate court, but when you need to – you need to. There’s no other way around it. And why would you need to?
Generally speaking, it comes up only a couple of different scenarios. It can happen in two different time periods and those would be the two different kinds of probates, that we run into.
The first that can happen in someone’s life is if you become incapacitated and you’ll see down there, Chapter 5, it says, the protection of persons under disability. Yeah, so that’s the first probate and that can happen a couple of different ways. Either somebody has become disabled.
And they need help taking care of themselves. Medically, they can’t communicate their wishes or they don’t necessarily understand what’s happening. And so they just can’t communicate reasonable wishes and that might be because they have been disabled for a long time as a kid. And, and they’ve now turned 18.
So you might need to go to probate to become their guardian or maybe it’s an elderly parent or spouse who has dementia, had a stroke, and did not have a recent healthcare power of attorney in place.
So there’s nobody legally designated to decide when they should go to the doctor, what type of medical treatment they should have, where they should live, all those things. And so you might need a guardian for that or a conservator if there’s money, that needs to be managed. Sometimes that happens if there’s an accident, there’s going to be a settlement payout or they’re just elderly again and they need help managing their finances.
We had one guy whose wife, her dementia got bad to the point where he had to place her in a group home. And he needed to – they had their primary home, they had their rental home – he needed to sell the rental home in order to keep paying for it. He doesn’t want to manage, being a landlord anymore.
And he went and got it under contract, and with the real estate agent, went to a title company and then the title company said, “Sir, this house is titled under you and your wife’s community property survivorship, that’s a joint title, we need both of your signatures.” And he said, “Oh well yeah no problem, we’re joint survivorship, I can sign for both of us.” And they said “No that only happens after she dies.
Then the right of survivorship goes to you. Then it’s just you, she’s still alive. So she needs to sign.” He’s like, “Oh oh.” And so they said, “You have a power of attorney for her?” He said, “Oh yes I do.” He went and dug back through their records. Found this old power of attorney and gave it to him.
And, they said, “That’s a really old power attorney. We can’t recognize that thing. That’s just too old. We’re not gonna honor it. We don’t want to take the liability of something not being valid in that and so we can’t recognize that. So she can’t sign the power of attorney, so it’s not valid.
The only other way you can sell this house is by going to court, and having the court, give you the authority to sign for her.” And that’s what a conservatorship is. And that’s why probate gets involved, even if your life even between a married couple, and I’ve talked about that process on the show before.
We’ll have to do some more training on it as well but that’s sort of where probate can come in while you’re alive and then after if someone passes away probate comes in. If you have no will, very likely need to probate something.
If you have a will and you need to use it – a bank, a title company. If you’re trying to sell a house, or you know, all kinds of things. They’re not gonna look at a will and say, “Oh yeah, that’s okay, good. It says it goes to you. Here you go.”
They’re not gonna hand it to you, they’re gonna say great, take that will to the probate court, and then bring us the probate court document that says, this is valid. That’s what they’re gonna say.
The bank is gonna freeze the account. The title company is not gonna transfer the title. And you’re gonna be told “Go to probate,” and so then you gonna learn all these statutes or you gonna call someone for help. That’s what we do, of course, if you don’t want to figure it out yourself. You see, each one of these chapters just has dozens and dozens and dozens of probate laws. Talk about complexity.
Most lawyers, don’t even touch this stuff. They refer it to us because they’re like, “I tried, I got rejected and my clients were mad at me. So here, please just help.”
And so that’s what we do. Of course, it also governs, what happens with trust administration. So if you are a trustee for someone then you’ve got to know what’s in here.
You’ll see that Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 deal with Trust Administration and the Arizona Trust Code. Both of those lay out how responsible you are, and how much you have at risk. If you take on that job, the same thing as an executor, you’re signing on personal liability for doing the job correctly.
If you don’t do it correctly, the laws here say you have to fix the mistake, even if it’s an honest mistake and that could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket to fix the mistake.
The thing that you want to know before you go into this, and accept that job is if you do need to hire and pay for advice from a law firm, those fees are allowed to come out of the estate, or the trust off the top, you know. So it’s not fun to have to do that.
But if you just want to make sure it’s done right, you’re allowed to use those funds that are in the estate, that are in the trust to hire and ask for help. You’re completely allowed to do that. If you’re the executor, if you’re the personal representative or the trustee, you can do that. And that’s what we’re here for.
That’s why I give you the option to call and get yourself scheduled, or click and get yourself scheduled for that first appointment if you need that help. Don’t try to navigate this alone.
There’s a bunch of gotchas that you may not know about until after the fact. We have one girl who called us. This was years after her sister died. Smart lady, she called and she’s like, “I’m the manager of a bank.” I mean, she was a smart girl.
And she said, “I did all the probate stuff myself when my sister died and got it all done. And now I got a letter from some lawyer who claims to represent my sister’s long-lost ex-husband. And he’s showing me legal documents saying, I got to pay him a bunch of money, help.”
We reviewed everything she did in the original probate, and we had to come back to her and say, “Yeah, you missed a couple of steps and so we’re gonna have to deal with this guy.”
We’re able to negotiate, you know, a reasonable way out for her, but she would have had to deal with him at all. If she had just done everything, all of the little steps along the way so don’t miss that stuff. Don’t end up and she, of course, had to pay for this all out of her own pocket because the estate was gone, all the money was gone and so it was just, it sucked.
She had to do this, and doing it, but you know, so be it. She made the mistake and she knew she had to deal with it so, just don’t do that, right? I recommend you learn this stuff and get your questions answered. And that way, when you get to the end of the probate, and even if you are a beneficiary yourself, if you’ve distributed money, you or the others who are the beneficiaries.
You know, you can say to them, or even to yourself – the money is done, like what you’re getting is free and clear. There’s nobody who can crawl out of the woodwork and try to unwind, claw back, or make a mess for any of us including the IRS.
You know what, some tax bill popping up later that says, “Oh now you owe the IRS some money.” So that is why I want you to know about Title 14. This is where all of the laws are regarding trust, estates, and protective proceedings.
Get to know this stuff or make sure that whoever you work with knows this stuff inside and out.
I think, that’s all I had for today, guys. Welcome back to the show. We are live and online with YouTube. So you’ll start to see all of these shows accumulating here on the channel, as well as the old ones.
We have some, already posted and you’ll be invited to come back and see them as we keep adding more and more. Take care. Have a good one.