Estate Administration And Probate

Move Successfully Through Arizona Probate

In addition to the drafting of estate planning documents, I, attorney Christopher D. Graham, regularly provide assistance with probate and trust administration in Arizona.

As an estate planning and probate professional, I stay informed on issues and legislation that affect estate matters in Arizona. This includes the Arizona Trust Code and the Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure. I am aware of what types of behaviors constitute fraud and financial exploitation, including undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty and the rules of evidence.

​Probate of a regular will, or when an estate includes no will, can be complex and stressful. I understand that family members may be stressed during this time and actively grieving. My goal is to guide, advise and act in a way to relieve the burden and to effectively resolve the probate process for you. If you are a personal representative who is unsure of how to locate beneficiaries, how to meet filing deadlines or how to follow through on your responsibilities, I can help.

Every estate and probate process is a little different, I can also help you settle creditor claims, prosecute claims against third parties, identify and recover estate assets, and prepare the necessary reports to the court.

For immediate answers to your questions, call 480-219-5000 or email me.

Seasoned Guidance In Will Contests And Probate Litigation

People create wills so that their wishes are understood and fulfilled after their death. There are instances when a will’s language or intent is not fully clear. There are also instances when a will is executed under duress, or when the person making it is mentally compromised or incapacitated.

I provide both transactional (paperwork) and litigation (going to court) services if you are a personal representative who needs help. While many Arizona attorneys can take on a will contest case, not all approach this matter as I do, with deep-seated compassion and respect for you, your family and the family member who died.

​​​A Robust Trust Administration Practice

Arizona trusts can be complex matters. Over the past decade, I have helped numerous clients with the many administration facets of a trust, including:

  • Trustee’s duties, powers and standards
  • Defending and preserving trust assets from creditors
  • Accounting and record-keeping requirements
  • Management and investment of trust assets
  • Trustee compensation and attorneys fees
  • Sub-trust funding
  • Income taxation of trusts
  • Estate and gift tax returns​
  • Administration and succession after the death of a trustor

Trust Litigation, Trustee Removal And Disputes

Trusts are designed to be very straightforward and protective of assets, yet disputes still occur. I aggressively represent trustees and beneficiaries in trust litigation, including disputes regarding the interpretation of the language and intent of the trust, the fiduciary duties of a trustee and what constitutes a breach of those duties. I can also guide you on how to handle accounting disputes and when and how to remove a trustee.

​When You Need To Modify A Trust

Despite ​its name, an irrevocable trust may be modified in certain situations. Arizona law is fairly lenient with regard to modifications and amendments. Some modifications may be made without a court action. Other modifications must be approved by the probate court. I can review and advise you as to which category your issue is likely to fall under and the next steps to take.

I have extensive experience in assisting grantors, trustees and beneficiaries with the modification of irrevocable trusts. I can also answer any questions you have regarding special or supplemental needs trusts or Arizona elder law issues.

Contact An Attorney Who Will Help

If you are unsure of your duties or need help as a personal representative or trustee, or if you feel that a trustee or personal representative is not fulfilling their duties, please call me. I have years of experience helping people in many types of situations and can offer the guidance, advice and peace of mind you need. I provide personal, compassionate and knowledgeable service and will explain the process and your options in language that you can understand.

Call me, Christopher D. Graham, at 480-219-5000. If it’s after hours please email me, and I will respond promptly.