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Proposed Arizona Probate, Guardianship, & Conservatorship Law Reform: SB 1499 & HB 2424

Two bills, Senate Bill 1499 (SB 1499) and House Bill 2424 (HB 2424), have recently been introduced into the Arizona Legislature to reform Arizona's probate, conservatorship, and guardianship laws under the Arizona Probate Code, primarily by modifying the Arizona statutes applicable to Persons Under Disability And Their Property (A.R.S. § 14-5101 to 15-5501). In addition to these modifications, HB 2424 also proposes to create a Probate Advocacy Panel to oversee Arizona's probate courts.

Senate Bill 1499

SB 1499 proposes to:

  • Require guardians and conservators to submit estimates of costs to probate courts;
  • Require probate courts to oversee and approve expenditures in excess of those estimates;
  • Permit probate courts to require a party challenging guardian or conservator actions to reimburse the other party if the court determines that an action was not filed in good faith, was not grounded in fact or based on law, or had another improper purpose.

House Bill 2424

HB 2424 proposes to:

  • Establish a Probate Advocacy Panel to oversee Arizona's probate courts;
  • Require guardians and conservators to account for expenditures on a monthly basis;
  • Require the Arizona Supreme Court to establish a schedule of fees permitted to be charged by fiduciaries acting in furtherance of a conservatorship or guardianship;

Although HB 2424 doesn't expressly apply to conservatorships, the text of the bill appears to be intended to apply to both guardianships and conservatorships.

As of this writing, neither bill has been passed by either chamber of the legislature and only time will tell whether these specific reforms, or some derivative(s) thereof, become law.

This brief overview of some important considerations associated with Arizona Probate, Guardianship, & Conservatorship Law Reform, SB 1499, and HB 2424 is by no means comprehensive. Always seek the advice of a competent professional when making important financial and legal decisions.

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