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Rule 10. Duties Owed by Counsel, Fiduciaries, Unrepresented Parties, and Investigators

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedArizona Rules of Probate Procedure

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Arizona Rules of Probate Procedure
II. General Procedures
17B A.R.S. Rules Probate Proc., Rule 10
Rule 10. Duties Owed by Counsel, Fiduciaries, Unrepresented Parties, and Investigators
A. Duties of Counsel.
1. Responsibility to Court. Upon changing office address or telephone number, each attorney shall advise the clerk of court or the court administrator in each of the counties in which that attorney has probate cases pending of the attorney's current office address and telephone number.
2. Limited Scope Representation. Subject to the limitations in ER 1.2(c), Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney may make a limited appearance by filing a notice stating that the attorney and the party have a written agreement that the attorney will provide limited scope representation to the party and specifying the matter or issues with regard to which the attorney will represent the party. Service on an attorney who has made a limited appearance for a party shall be valid, to the extent permitted by statute and Rule 4(f), Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, in all matters in the case, but shall not extend the attorney's responsibility to represent the client beyond the specific matter for which the attorney has agreed to represent the client. Nothing in this rule shall limit an attorney's ability to provide limited services to a client without appearing of record in any judicial proceedings.
B. Duties of Unrepresented Parties.
1. An unrepresented party shall inform the court of his or her current address and telephone number. The person has a continuing duty to advise the court of any change in address or telephone number.
2. A person who is not an active member of the State Bar of Arizona or has not been admitted pro hac vice pursuant to the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court may not represent family members or other lay persons during court proceedings.
3. A person who is not an active member of the State Bar of Arizona, an attorney admitted pro hac vice pursuant to the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court, or certified as a legal document preparer by the Arizona Supreme Court may not prepare documents for another person to file with the court.
C. Duties of Court-Appointed Fiduciaries.
1. A court-appointed fiduciary shall
a. review all documents filed with the court that are prepared on the fiduciary's behalf;
b. if the fiduciary is a licensed fiduciary who is not also an active member of the State Bar of Arizona, place the fiduciary's license number on all documents signed by the fiduciary and filed with the court;
c. file an updated probate information form that contains the information required by Rule 6 of these rules within ten days after any changes in such information, except that if the ward's physical address changes, the ward's guardian shall file the updated probate information form within three days of learning of the change in address; and
d. in the case of an updated probate information form that reflects a change of a subject person's address or telephone number or a change of the fiduciary's address or telephone number, mail or deliver a copy of the updated probate information form to the subject person's court-appointed attorney, the subject person's guardian ad litem, and all parties to the probate case in which the updated probate information form has been filed.
2. Duties Regarding Death of Ward or Protected Person. The court-appointed fiduciary shall do the following upon the death of the fiduciary's ward or protected person:
a. A guardian or conservator appointed pursuant to A.R.S. Title 14 shall notify the court in writing of the ward or protected person's death within ten days of learning that the ward or protected person has died.
b. Except as provided by in A.R.S. § 14-5419(F) or otherwise ordered by the court, a conservator shall file a final accounting of the protected person's estate within 90 days of the date of the protected person's death. The accounting shall reflect all activity between the ending date of the most recently approved accounting and the date of death of the protected person. The court may extend the date for filing the accounting or relieve the conservator from filing an annual or final accounting.
3. Termination of Appointment. Before a court-appointed fiduciary may resign from a case or have the fiduciary's responsibilities judicially terminated, the fiduciary shall comply with all statutory requirements for withdrawal, including the filing of final reports and accountings.
4. Duties regarding minor's death, adoption, marriage or emancipation. the court-appointed guardian of a minor ward who dies, is adopted, marries or attains majority shall notify the court in writing within ten days of such event. If the minor does not have a conservator at the time the guardianship terminates, the guardian shall provide the court and former minor ward with a written list of any known assets or monies beyond personal effects believed to be owned by the former minor ward.
D. Duties Relating to Counsel for Fiduciaries
1. To minimize legal expenses, a fiduciary's attorney shall encourage the fiduciary to take those actions the fiduciary is authorized to perform and can perform competently on the fiduciary's own to fulfill the fiduciary's duties rather than having the attorney take such actions on the fiduciary's behalf.
2. In addition to the requirements set forth in Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 5.3, an attorney who has appeared in a probate case as counsel of record for a guardian, conservator, personal representative, or trustee shall include with any motion to withdraw a status report that advises the court and parties of any issues pending in the probate case and informs the court and parties whether, to the best of the attorney's knowledge, all required guardian reports, inventories, accountings, and other similar required reports have been filed.
E. Duties of Counsel for Subject Person of Guardianship/Conservatorship Proceeding; Duties of Guardian Ad Litem
1. Initial Training. Any attorney who serves as a court-appointed attorney or guardian ad litem for a proposed adult ward or adult protected person shall first complete a training course prescribed by the supreme court, which shall issue a certificate of completion. The attorney shall file a copy of the certificate of completion with the court making the appointment. Any attorney who, at the time this rule becomes effective, is serving as a court-appointed attorney or guardian ad litem for an adult ward or protected person shall complete a training course prescribed by the supreme court as soon as practicable and thereafter shall file a certificate of completion with the court making the appointment.
2. Subsequent Training. Any attorney who continues to serve as a court-appointed attorney or guardian ad litem for an adult ward or protected person shall complete an additional training course prescribed by the supreme court every five years and file a certificate of completion as set forth in subsection 1.
3. In a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding, the participation of an attorney representing the subject person shall terminate upon the subject person's death. In extraordinary situations, the court, for good cause shown, may authorize the limited participation of the subject person's attorney after the subject person's death. In such cases, the court shall set forth, in its order authorizing the attorney's continued participation, the basis for the continued participation and the scope of the attorney's participation.
F. Duties of Investigators.
1. Before being appointed as an investigator pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 14-5303(c), 14-5407(b), or 36-540(g), a person shall first complete a training course prescribed by the supreme court, which shall issue a certificate of completion. The investigator shall file a copy of the certificate of completion with the court making the appointment.
2. Any person who continues to serve as a court-appointed investigator shall complete an additional training course prescribed by the supreme court every five years and file a certificate of completion as set forth in subsection A.
G. Remedies for Vexatious Conduct; Definitions
1. If the court finds that a person engaged in vexatious conduct in connection with a probate case, the court may do either or both of the following:
a. Order that the person shall obtain the court's permission to file future pleadings and other papers in the probate case or in other cases. If the court enters such an order, no party is required to respond to the person's future filings until ordered to do so by the court.
b. Order that a fiduciary, fiduciary's attorney, court-appointed attorney, guardian ad litem, trustee or personal representative shall not be required to respond to future requests for information made by the person related to the probate case unless required by subsequent court order.
2. The remedies permitted pursuant to this section are in addition to any other civil remedy or any other provision of law.
3. For the purposes of this section:
a. “Court-appointed attorney” means an attorney appointed pursuant to Section 14-5303, Subsection C, Section 14-5310, Subsection C, Section 14-5401.01, Subsection C or Section 14-5407, Subsection B.
b. “Fiduciary” means an agent under a durable power of attorney, an agent under a health care power of attorney, a guardian, a conservator, a personal representative, a trustee, a guardian ad litem, or a special conservator appointed under Section 14-5409.
c. “Vexatious conduct” means habitual, repetitive conduct undertaken solely or primarily to harass or maliciously injure another party or that party's representative, cause unreasonable delay in proceedings, cause undue harm to the ward or protected person, or cause unnecessary expense. It does not include conduct undertaken in good faith.

Credits

Added Sept. 16, 2008, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Amended Sept. 2, 2010, effective Jan. 1, 2011; Dec. 13, 2011 (corrected nunc pro tunc Dec. 22, 2011), effective Feb. 1, 2012, and Sept. 1, 2012; Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
17B A. R. S. Rules Probate Proc., Rule 10, AZ ST PROB Rule 10
Current with amendments received through 11/15/16
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