Arizona probate court passes on clear & convincing standard

By May 3, 2011Uncategorized

Even if you have only been mildly attentive to the news, you have probably seen story after story about Arizona probate cases over the past year or so.  One of the biggest stories to come out of the Arizona probate system, as you may well know, is that of Walt Disney’s grandson, Brad Lund.  We have followed this story on the blog, and the recent announcement that House Bill 2424 passed the State Legislature without the clear and convincing standard brings one more chapter to the story.

If you recall, Brad Lund is the developmentally disabled grandson of Walt Disney.  Brad has a twin sister in California, but he lives here in the valley, close to his father Bill Lund.  Brad’s sister filed a conservatorship action here in Arizona Probate Court because she suspected that Bill was using Brad’s trust funds for his personal benefit.  This, of course, instigated an Arizona probate battle that has gone on for quite some time now – an Arizona probate battle that Brad and Bill allege has cost the trust more than $1 million to defend.

Early on in this Arizona probate case, the Lunds hired a valley attorney, Laura Knaparek to research the state of Arizona probate law and draft legislation that could be proposed to the state legislature.  As you might be aware, Ms. Knaparek’s work formed the basis of House Bill 2424, which in its original form contained a provision that would require those seeking a conservatorship for an incapacitated adult to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a conservatorship is indeed necessary.

Under the clear and convincing standard, Brad’s sister would have much more difficulty establishing the necessity of a conservatorship, and Bill Lund would likely remain trustee of Brad’s trust.  But, to the dismay of the Lunds, the clear and convincing provision was not included in the final draft of House Bill 2424, which means that their Arizona probate battle might continue for longer still.

For more information on Arizona probate law call (480) 818-6912