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Margrave Celmins, P.C. Quarterly Newsletter

     The Conference Room  |  October 2015 Edition

(Aspen, fir and pine in northern Arizona)

Ahhh, the advent of cooler temps means Fall is finally here.

U S Airways Center is changing it’s name to Talking Stick Resort Arena, where we continue to offer tickets to various concerts and sporting events in our theater box. These offers are for two tickets, with complimentary food and drink, as well as parking.  Upcoming events include Marc Anthony, Andrea Bocelli and Motley Crue. Watch for future announcements for a chance to share one of these events with a loved one, friend or business partner. And if you take photos in our box, we would love to include them in a future newsletter.

Michael has been busy socially these past few months as you’ll see in the Attorney Spotlight feature with photos of him during his visit to Zimbabwe and a recent visit to the home of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver where box holders had an opportunity to mix with the Suns players.

And don’t forget to read Part I of Laura Trujillo’s article dealing with solutions for “Small Estates: Affidavits, Allowances and Exemption, and Creditor Claims.” Parts II and III will be continued in blogs, one of which will appear this Thursday, October 15th.

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions for our newsletter or the website.  Meanwhile, enjoy our latest newsletter and the Fall weather.

Patty Copeland, Editor
pcopeland@mclawfirm.com


Small Estates: Part I

 
In some cases, small estates can be more complex than an average probate.  This is especially true when dealing with an insolvent estate. The insolvency can often overwhelm the surviving spouse. Fortunately, the Arizona probate code provides several solutions. In this article, I’ll discuss a solution that simplifies the transfer of the decedent’s assets.

In a blog scheduled for October 15th, I’ll cover statutory allowances and exemption for the surviving spouse and minor children, if any; and in a November blog, I’ll discuss the priority of such allowances and exemption over certain creditor claims.
 
Transfers by Affidavit
 
There are three types of affidavits a surviving spouse may execute regarding the transfer of decedent’s assets without probate. The statements contained within an affidavit are dependent on the type of assets the surviving spouse wishes to claim. Below is a brief outline of the requirements: 

  • Unpaid wages: A surviving spouse may execute an Affidavit for the receipt of unpaid wages or other compensation owed to the decedent. Such affidavit must state that such compensation does not exceed $5,000, that the surviving spouse is entitled to such unpaid compensation, and a petition for the appointment of a personal representative is not pending or if a personal representative had been appointed, the personal representative has been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed.
  • Personal Property: A surviving spouse may execute an Affidavit for the transfer of the decedent’s personal property, such as bank accounts, stock, and tangible personal property. Such affidavit must state that the surviving spouse is the successor of such assets, that 30 days has elapsed since the decedent’s death, the value of decedent’s personal property does not exceed $75,000, and a petition for the appointment of a personal representative has not pending or if a personal representative had been appointed, the personal representative is been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed.
  • Real Property: A surviving spouse may execute an Affidavit for the transfer of the decedent’s real property. The affidavit must state that at least six months have elapsed since the decedent’s death, the value of decedent’s real property, less encumbrances, does not exceed $100,000, and a petition for the appointed of a personal representative is not pending or if a personal representative had been appointed, the personal representative has been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed. The surviving spouse must also state that he or she is entitled to the real property by reason of the allowance in lieu of homestead, exempt property or family allowance, by intestate succession as the sole heir, or by devise under a valid last will of the decedent, that the funeral expenses, expenses of last illness and all unsecured debts of the decedent have been paid, that no other person has a right to the interest of the decedent in the described property, and that no federal estate tax is due on the decedent's estate. This affidavit must be filed with the court in the County in which the decedent reside, provided the decedent was a resident of the State of Arizona. 

 
Laura Morrison Trujillo
ltrujillo@mclawfirm.com

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT...

Michael Margrave recently visited the home of Robert Sarver, managing partner of the Phoenix Suns, for a pre-season dinner that was served on the basketball court used for the 2009 NBA All Star Game hosted by the Phoenix Suns.





While there, Mike also met up with Tyson Chandler, the newly acquired center for the Suns. Everyone hopes he will bring the Suns together, both on the court and in the locker room, while improving the defense and opening up the offense. Go Ty!
 
In late July and the first part of August, Michael Margrave made a long trip to the country of Zimbabwe in the southern part of Africa. Just getting there and returning was an experience in itself. It involved a 16-hour, nonstop flight between LA and Dubai and an 8-hour, non-stop flight between Dubai and Johannesburg. Those international segments were on Emirates Airlines, which proved to be a great choice for flying.
 
Once in Johannesburg, Mike had a short flight to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, which was the jumping off point for the 4-hour drive to the southern part of the country at a camp about 25 miles northwest of Beitbridge on the border with South Africa formed by the Limpopo River. 


While at the camp, Mike made a number of side trips, including one to a nearby agricultural compound that produces a significant amount of citrus for domestic consumption as well as export. On payday at the end of each month, a lot of vendors come into the compound to sell to the workers, as the accompanying photo reflects.



 


At the end of the camp stay, there is a tradition that the staff gather and extend their thanks and a hearty goodbye, and Mike was greeted by the entire camp staff on the evening before departure.









While there is poverty in Zimbabwe, as evidenced by the attached photo of a dwelling at the agricultural compound, the people were very friendly. It’s a country with an extensive amount of game viewing. Zimbabwe has a population of 15 million or so and, due to prior financial problems, uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.

LEGAL RESOURCES 
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ABOUT OUR LAW FIRM
Margrave Celmins is a member of LawPact, which is an association of independent, business-oriented law firms in the U.S. and overseas.  Currently there are 52 member firms.  This is a terrific resource for clients who have legal matters in other states and abroad.  There are 26 states and 17 countries represented by member firms throughout Europe and Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, as well as India..
 
 
DISCLAIMER:  This newsletter is for informational purposes only.  Legal advice is provided only through a formal attorney/client relationship
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