Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Arizona

My father recently passed away. Hi wife, who is our stepmother, is still living. She lives in the house they purchased and paid off, and prior to his death, told my brother and I would we get 50% of it's value (25% for each of us). As stated in his will, my brother and I are the sole beneficiaries of his estate, including his half of the real estate they owned together. My brother has durable power of attorney over my father's estate. So, as far as the house proceeds go, does my father's 50% investment into their home get paid out to us now, or after our stepmother passes away? If it does get paid out now, how does that work?

Asked on 9/01/12, 1:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

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

Your brother's durable power of attorney has no force or effect, the moment your father passed away. If you and your brother are the sole heirs of his estate, which would include his one-half of the community property, then one of you should apply to the superior court, probate division, for appointment as personal representative of his estate and file the original will for probate and administration. The probate process will tell you when and how the residence may be sold.

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Answered on 9/02/12, 8:36 pm

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