We recently discussed the general rule in AZ probate law that personal representatives must avoid conflicts of interest. We also mentioned that the Arizona Probate Code has certain exceptions to this general rule, to which we will now turn. Transactions cannot be voided for conflict of interest where:
- The person seeking to have the transaction voided consented to the transaction after fair disclosure.
- The will expressly authorizes the transaction.
- A contract entered into by the decedent authorizes the transaction.
- The personal representative gave notice to interested persons and received approval by the court.
The Arizona Probate Code, then, generally prohibits personal representatives from acting in their own interest when administering a probate estate. However, they are permitted to act in accordance with a will, even if it promotes their self-interest. Where the will does not give express permission, personal representatives may still enter into certain transactions by obtaining the court’s approval, and providing adequate notice to interested parties.
None of this should be handled without the assistance of an Arizona probate lawyer. When entering into transactions that create even the appearance of a conflict of interest, personal representatives should seek legal assurance that their efforts will be upheld. An Arizona probate attorney is best qualified to assist in this manner.