Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Arizona

My dad passed away in 2006, his ranch, now considered a trust, is in my step-mothers name and her daughter, my step-sister, holds the power of attorney position. It is my understanding that when my step-mother passes the ranch will then be split between 5 heirs, my step-moms three children, myself (I am the only biological child) and my brother (adopted).

My step-mom remarried shortly after my dads death, and now has the property up for sale. When I first learned this, I asked if I could salvage what was left of an old barn before the property sold and was told I was not allowed on the property at all.

Obviously there are a lot of other issues that are in play. My question is this: as an heir to my dads property (past down for generations), does my step-sister who is power of attorney have an obligation to inform me that the property is being sold? They have never shown me a copy of the will, which I requested several times, I had no idea that the ranch was listed for sale as I was living out of state, and now I am not allowed on the property. All I really want is some lousy old rotting barn wood before it sells and gets destroyed. I am willing to pay fair market value, and denied. What are my options, if any? I appreciate any advice offered, and thank you for your time.

Asked on 8/02/13, 4:11 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Donald Scher Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.

You should hire an attorney who is experienced in probate and trust cases. You need to get copies of the trust agreement and Will, if your father had one. Secondly, powers of attorney are of no force and effect the instant your father died, so she has no legal authority unless she is acting on behalf of your step-mother. You should find out who is trustee of the trust. As an heir, you have rights to information and may institute legal action to get an accounting for all that has happened since the death of your father. Take action at once.

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Answered on 8/02/13, 7:06 pm

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