The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2022.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
14-5425. Distributive duties and powers of conservator
A. A conservator may expend or distribute income or principal of the estate without court authorization or confirmation for the support, education, care or benefit of the protected person and the person's dependents in accordance with the following principles:
1. The conservator shall consider recommendations relating to the appropriate standard of support, education and benefit for the protected person made by a parent or guardian, if any. The conservator may not be surcharged for sums paid to persons or organizations actually furnishing support, education or care to the protected person pursuant to the recommendations of a parent or guardian of the protected person unless the conservator knows that the parent or guardian is deriving personal financial benefit from this action, including relief from any personal duty of support, or unless the recommendations are clearly not in the best interests of the protected person.
2. The conservator shall expend or distribute sums reasonably necessary for the support, education, care or benefit of the protected person and the person's dependents with due regard to:
(a) The size of the estate, the probable duration of the conservatorship and the likelihood that the protected person, at some future time, may be fully able to be wholly self-sufficient and able to manage business affairs and the estate.
(b) The accustomed standard of living of the protected person and the person's dependents.
(c) Other funds or sources used for the support of the protected person.
3. With respect to the affairs and estate of a minor, the conservator shall also consider the following factors in making estate distributions:
(a) The financial responsibility and financial resources of the parents of the child.
(b) Extraordinary custodial responsibilities undertaken by the parent or parents as the result of the child's physical or mental condition and the effect of these extraordinary responsibilities on appropriate gainful employment of the parent.
(c) The physical and mental condition of the child and the child's medical and educational needs. Any incidental benefit to other members of the child's household derived from a distribution is not a disqualifying factor.
(d) If the child has a permanent and total disability, the standard of living the child should reasonably expect to enjoy given the financial resources available to the child.
4. The conservator may expend funds of the estate for the support of persons legally dependent on the protected person and others who are members of the protected person's household, who are unable to support themselves and who are in need of support. If benefits are being paid by the United States department of veterans affairs to the conservator, such income may be expended only for the support of the protected person and the person's spouse and minor children, except on petition to and prior order of the court after a hearing.
5. Funds expended under this subsection may be paid by the conservator to any person, including the protected person, to reimburse for expenditures that the conservator might have made, or in advance for services to be rendered to the protected person when it is reasonable to expect that they will be performed and where advance payments are customary or reasonably necessary under the circumstances.
6. A conservator, in discharging the responsibilities conferred by a court order and this section, shall implement the principles described in section 14-5408 to the extent possible.
B. When a minor who has not been adjudged to have a disability under section 14-5401, subsection A, paragraph 2 attains majority, the conservator, after meeting all prior claims and expenses of administration, shall pay over and distribute all funds and properties to the former protected person as soon as possible.
C. When the conservator is satisfied that a protected person's disability, other than minority, has ceased, the conservator, after meeting all prior claims and expenses of administration, shall pay over and distribute all funds and properties to the former protected person as soon as possible.
D. If a protected person dies, the conservator may deliver to the court for safekeeping any will of the deceased protected person that may have come into the conservator's possession or deliver the will to the personal representative named in the will. If the will is delivered to the personal representative named in the will, a copy of the will shall be filed with the court in the conservatorship proceeding. If the will is filed with the court, the conservator shall inform the personal representative or a beneficiary named in the will that the conservator has done so, and retain the estate for delivery to a duly appointed personal representative of the decedent or other persons entitled to the estate. If any of the following situations exist, the conservator may apply to exercise the powers and duties of a personal representative so that the conservator may proceed to administer and distribute the decedent's estate without additional or further appointment:
1. Forty days after the death of the protected person another person has not been appointed personal representative and an application or petition for appointment is not before the court.
2. Another person has not been appointed personal representative after the protected person's death, an application or petition for appointment is not before the court and the conservator is the person with priority as determined by a probated will, including a person who is nominated by a power conferred in a will.
3. Another person has not been appointed personal representative after the protected person's death, an application or petition for appointment is not before the court, after the exercise of reasonable diligence the conservator is unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state and all the heirs of the protected person have nominated the conservator to exercise the powers and duties of a personal representative.
E. The conservator may include in an application made pursuant to subsection D of this section a request to probate the will of the deceased protected person or to adjudicate that the protected person died intestate and to determine the protected person's heirs. On receipt of an application, the registrar, after making the findings required pursuant to section 14-3303, if applicable, shall issue a written statement of informal probate, or a statement of intestacy, and shall endorse the letters of the conservator. The registrar may also enter the will of the deceased protected person to probate. The statement of the registrar under this section shall have the effect of an order of appointment of a personal representative as provided in section 14-3308 and chapter 3, articles 6 through 10 of this title, except that the estate in the name of the conservator, after administration, may be distributed to the decedent's successors without prior retransfer to the conservator as personal representative. In exercising the powers and duties of a personal representative after the death of the protected person, the conservator is not required to account for the administration pursuant to section 14-5419 but is subject to the related duties of a personal representative for the administration.
F. If a protected person dies, and on reasonable inquiry the conservator is unable to locate any person specified in section 36-831, subsection A, paragraphs 1 through 11 willing to assume the duty of burying the body of the decedent or making other funeral and disposition arrangements, the conservator may make reasonable burial or other funeral arrangements, the cost of which is a charge against the estate.
G. The estate of a deceased protected person is liable for any unpaid expenses of the conservator's administration, and such expenses are a lien on property transferred by the conservator to the decedent's personal representative.