2021 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 14 - Trusts, Estates and Protective Proceedings
§ 14-2804 - Termination of marriage; effect; revocation of probate and nonprobate transfers; federal law; definitions

Universal Citation: AZ Rev Stat § 14-2804 (2021)

14-2804. Termination of marriage; effect; revocation of probate and nonprobate transfers; federal law; definitions

A. Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument, a court order or a contract relating to the division of the marital estate made between a divorced couple before or after the marriage, divorce or annulment, the divorce or annulment of a marriage:

1. Revokes any revocable:

(a) Disposition or appointment of property made by a divorced person to that person's former spouse in a governing instrument and any disposition or appointment created by law or in a governing instrument to a relative of the divorced person's former spouse.

(b) Provision in a governing instrument conferring a general or nongeneral power of appointment on the divorced person's former spouse or on a relative of the divorced person's spouse.

(c) Nomination in a governing instrument that nominates a divorced person's former spouse or a relative of the divorced person's former spouse to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including a personal representative, executor, trustee, conservator, agent or guardian.

2. Severs the interests of the former spouses in property held by them at the time of the divorce or annulment as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or as community property with the right of survivorship and transforms the interests of the former spouses into tenancies in common.

B. A severance under subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section does not affect any third party interest in property acquired for value and in good faith reliance on an apparent title by survivorship in the survivor of the former spouses unless a writing declaring the severance has been noted, registered, filed or recorded in records appropriate to the kind and location of the property that a person relied on as evidence of ownership in the ordinary course of transactions involving that property.

C. Provisions of a governing instrument are given effect as if the former spouse and relatives of the former spouse disclaimed all provisions revoked by this section or, in the case of a revoked nomination in a fiduciary or representative capacity, as if the former spouse and relatives of the former spouse died immediately before the divorce or annulment.

D. Provisions revoked solely by this section are revived by the divorced person's remarriage to the former spouse or by a nullification of the divorce or annulment.

E. No change of circumstances other than as described in this section and in section 14-2803 effects a revocation.

F. Any payor or other third party is not liable for making a payment or transferring an item of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument affected by a divorce, annulment or remarriage, or for taking any other action in good faith reliance on the validity of the governing instrument, before the payor or other third party receives written notice of the divorce, annulment or remarriage. Any payor or other third party is liable for a payment made or any other action taken after the payor or other third party receives written notice of a claimed forfeiture or revocation under this section.

G. Written notice of the divorce, annulment or remarriage under subsection F of this section must be mailed to the payor's or other third party's main office or home by certified mail, return receipt requested, or served on the payor or other third party in the same manner as a summons in a civil action. On receipt of written notice of the divorce, annulment or remarriage, a payor or any other third party may pay any amount owed or transfer or deposit any item of property held by it to or with the court having jurisdiction of the probate proceedings relating to the decedent's estate or, if no proceedings have been commenced, to or with the court having jurisdiction of probate proceedings relating to decedents' estates located in the county of the decedent's residence. The court shall hold the monies or item of property and, on its determination under this section, shall order disbursement or transfer in accordance with the determination. Payments, transfers or deposits made to or with the court discharge the payor or other third party from all claims for the value of amounts paid to or items of property transferred to or deposited with the court.

H. A person who purchases property from a former spouse, a relative of a former spouse or any other person for value and without notice or who receives from a former spouse, a relative of a former spouse or any other person a payment or other item of property in partial or full satisfaction of a legally enforceable obligation is neither obligated under this section to return the payment, item of property or benefit nor is liable under this section for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit. However, a former spouse, a relative of a former spouse or any other person who, not for value, received a payment, an item of property or any other benefit to which that person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return the payment, item of property or benefit to the person who is entitled to it under this section or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit.

I. For the purpose of this section:

1. " Disposition or appointment of property" includes a transfer of an item of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument.

2. " Divorce or annulment" means any divorce or annulment or any dissolution or declaration of invalidity of a marriage that would exclude the spouse as a surviving spouse within the meaning of section 14-2802 but does not include a decree of separation that does not terminate the status of husband and wife.

3. " Divorced person" includes a person whose marriage has been annulled.

4. " Governing instrument" means an instrument executed by the divorced person before the divorce or annulment of that person's marriage to that person's former spouse.

5. " Relative of the divorced person's former spouse" means a person who is related to the divorced person's former spouse by blood, adoption or affinity and who, after the divorce or annulment, is not related to the divorced person by blood, adoption or affinity.

6. " Revocable" , with respect to a disposition, appointment, provision or nomination, means one under which the divorced person, at the time of the divorce or annulment, was alone empowered by law or under the governing instrument to cancel a designation in favor of that person's former spouse or former spouse's relative, whether or not the divorced person was then empowered to designate himself or herself in place of that person's former spouse or in place of the former spouse's relative and whether or not the divorced person then had the capacity to exercise the power.

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