The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2023.
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.
14-2803. Murder of decedent; effect; federal law; definitions
A. A person who feloniously and intentionally kills the decedent forfeits all benefits under this chapter with respect to the decedent's estate, including an intestate share, an elective share, an omitted spouse's or child's share, a homestead allowance, exempt property and a family allowance. If the decedent died intestate, the decedent's intestate estate passes as if the killer disclaimed that person's intestate share.
B. The felonious and intentional killing of the decedent:
1. Revokes any revocable:
(a) Disposition or appointment of property made by the decedent to the killer in a governing instrument.
(b) Provision in a governing instrument conferring a general or nongeneral power of appointment on the killer.
(c) Nomination of the killer in a governing instrument, nominating or appointing the killer to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including a personal representative, executor, trustee or agent.
2. Severs the interests of the decedent and killer in property held by them at the time of the killing as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or as community property with the right of survivorship, transforming the interests of the decedent and killer into tenancies in common.
C. A severance under subsection B, paragraph 2 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 killer 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 is relied on as evidence of ownership in the ordinary course of transactions involving that property.
D. Provisions of a governing instrument are given effect as if the killer disclaimed all provisions revoked by this section or, in the case of a revoked nomination in a fiduciary or representative capacity, as if the killer predeceased the decedent.
E. A wrongful acquisition of property or interest by a killer not covered by this section shall be treated in accordance with the principle that a killer cannot profit from that person's wrong.
F. After all right to appeal has been exhausted, a judgment of conviction establishing criminal accountability for the felonious and intentional killing of the decedent conclusively establishes the convicted person as the decedent's killer for purposes of this section. In the absence of a conviction, the court, on the petition of an interested person, shall determine whether, under the preponderance of evidence standard, the person would be found criminally accountable for the felonious and intentional killing of the decedent. If the court determines under that standard that the person would be found criminally accountable for the felonious and intentional killing of the decedent, the determination conclusively establishes that person as the decedent's killer for purposes of this section.
G. A payor or other third party is not liable for having made a payment or transferred an item of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument affected by an intentional and felonious killing or for having taken any other action in good faith reliance on the validity of the governing instrument on request and satisfactory proof of the decedent's death and before the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed forfeiture or revocation under this section. Any payor or other third party is liable for a payment made or any other action taken after the payor or other third party received written notice of a claimed forfeiture or revocation under this section.
H. Written notice of a claimed forfeiture or revocation under subsection G 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 a claimed forfeiture or revocation under this section, 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 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.
I. A person who purchases property for value and without notice or who receives a payment or any 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 person who, not for value, receives a payment, an item of property or any other benefit to which the person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return the payment, item of property or benefit, or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit, to the person who is entitled to it under this section.
J. If this section or any part of this section is preempted by federal law with respect to a payment, an item of property or any other benefit covered by this section, a person who, not for value, receives the payment, item of property or any other benefit to which the person is not entitled under this section is obligated to return it to the person who would have been entitled to it if this section or part of this section were not preempted or is personally liable for the amount of the payment or the value of the item of property or benefit.
K. The decedent's estate may petition the court to establish a constructive trust on the property or the estate of the killer, effective from the time of the killer's act that caused the death, in order to secure the payment of all damages and judgments from conduct that, pursuant to subsection F of this section, resulted in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or a child was the victim.
L. For the purposes 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. "Felonious and intentional" means a conviction or a finding of guilty except insane for a homicide pursuant to section 13-1103, 13-1104 or 13-1105.
3. "Governing instrument" means a governing instrument executed by the decedent.
4. "Revocable", with respect to a disposition, appointment, provision or nomination, means one under which the decedent, at the time of or immediately before death, was alone empowered, by law or under the governing instrument, to cancel the designation in favor of the killer, whether or not the decedent was then empowered to designate the decedent in place of the decedent's killer or the decedent then had capacity to exercise the power.