How can I obtain a court certificate or letter of Probate or the equivalent for the annuity company?

03/04/2009 - Category:Wills and Estates - Probate - State: AZ #15434

Full Question:

My dad had an annuity with my mom as main beneficiary (and co-owner) and listed me (daughter) as contingent. Dad died Feb 2008, and there were no adjustments made to the policy. Mom died Nov 2008. Annuity company needs 'court certificate of the appointment (Letters Probate or equivalent)'. They said since mom died after dad the money needs to be paid into mom's estate. So, I cannot find the exact form to complete. I need to know the complete and correct name of the Arizona form and get it to the court.


Letters testamentary are governed by state probate laws, which vary by state. When a court appoints an executor or administrator of a deceased's estate, the administrator or executor will receive a document called “Letters of Testmentary” or “Articles of Administration” which will be issued by the court, outlining the administrator’s or executor’s authority and responsibility. Before money or assets are transferred to the executor or administrator, certified copies of the letters are often required by banks and other financial institutions, the federal government, stock transfer agents or other courts.

The following are Arizona statutes:

6-237. Payment of deposit to foreign personal representative
If the deposit account is with one person and if within sixty days from the date of death of such depositor, no personal representative of such decedent, qualified in this state, has delivered a certified copy of letters testamentary or letters of administration to the bank, the bank may pay the balance of the account of the deceased depositor to the depositor's domiciliary personal representative qualified in another state upon the presentation of letters testamentary or letters of administration certified by the appointing court.
14-5605. Letter testamentary or of administration not required; statement to be filed; powers and duties
A. Whenever the gross assets of an estate do not exceed in value twenty thousand dollars the public fiduciary may act without the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration by filing with the superior court a statement of administration showing the name and domicile of the decedent, the date and place of death and the name, address and relationship of each known heir or devisee. The filing of this statement has the same effect as the issuance of formal letters testamentary or of administration.
B. In the event the gross assets of an estate in which the public fiduciary commences to act pursuant to a statement of administration later are found to exceed twenty thousand dollars the public fiduciary shall apply for letters for the estate.
C. In the event the public fiduciary, acting in any estate pursuant to subsection A of this section, ascertains the names and whereabouts of persons believed to be heirs or devisees of the estate who are not shown in the statement of administration, the public fiduciary shall file a supplemental statement reflecting the new information.
D. On filing the statement of administration, the public fiduciary may:
1. Take possession of, collect, manage and secure the real and personal property of the decedent.
2. Sell the decedent's real and personal property at private or public sale, without prior court order, if monies are needed to pay expenses of administration, funeral expenses or just claims against the estate and pay these expenses in the order prescribed in section 14-3805.
3. Distribute real or personal property to the estate's personal representative if one is appointed after the statement of administration is filed.
4. Distribute real and personal property to any successor to the decedent who presents an affidavit complying with the requirements of section 14-3971.
5. Sell or abandon perishable property and other property of the decedent if necessary to preserve the estate.
6. Pursuant to section 14-5103, for the use and benefit of a minor heir or devisee who has no guardian, pay the share of an intestate estate or a devise due him if it does not exceed five thousand dollars.
7. Make necessary funeral arrangements for the decedent and pay reasonable funeral charges with estate assets.
8. Distribute allowances and exempt property pursuant to chapter 2, article 4 of this title.
9. Except as otherwise limited by this section, act in accordance with the powers of a court appointed personal representative as prescribed in section 14-3715.
E. No later than twelve months from the filing of the statement of administration, the public fiduciary shall file with the court an accounting and a proposed distribution and claim for fees if the estate is ready to be settled. If the estate is not ready to be settled the accounting shall contain a statement explaining the delay. The public fiduciary shall file subsequent accountings and explanations on an annual basis until the estate is settled.
F. The public fiduciary shall mail a copy of the accounting, the claim for fees and a proposal for distribution to each person entitled to receive this information including heirs, devisees, known creditors and other persons who have demanded notice. Notification shall be by certified mail. Notice is not required if the public fiduciary cannot reasonably ascertain necessary names and addresses.
G. A decree settling the account and approving the distribution and claim for fees may be entered without further notice or proceedings and with the same effect as in an accounting proceeding unless an objection or claim is properly filed with the court within thirty days after the public fiduciary mails an accounting pursuant to subsection F of this section.

Please see the information at the following links:

Please see the forms at the following links:

03/04/2009 - Category: Probate - State: AZ #15434

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