2005 Arizona Revised Statutes - Revised Statutes §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.

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