Proof of Authority: How an Out of State Executor Conducts Estate Business in Arizona

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As Arizona probate attorneys we receive many phone calls from family members, personal representatives, and beneficiaries who do not live in the State of Arizona, but a deceased loved one died here. We are able and willing to help such out of state individuals with an Arizona probate administration, trust administration or other administration services necessary to help them deal with their loved one’s estates and property.

Additionally, we also receive many phone calls where a person’s parents or loved ones passed away in a jurisdiction outside of the State of Arizona, but owned a winter home or other property here. This unique situation may call for a legal process unfamiliar to many called a Proof of Authority.

A Proof of Authority is a statutory based mechanism whereby a “foreign” personal representative (foreign meaning, the personal representative was granted executorships powers in a State other than Arizona) may petition the Arizona probate court to exercise its foreign powers.

This process requires that an Arizona probate is not in existence nor is one pending, and that the person applying has already been appointed by a probate court in another state. This foreign personal representative then obtains a certified copy of his or her legal appointment from the probate court in the state that granted him or her powers and submits them to the Arizona probate court, along with an Arizona probate document titled "Proof of Authority".

All normal filing fees are paid to the Arizona court, and upon acceptance, the court will approve the Proof of Authority, which will then need to be certified and subsequently recorded in the local county’s recorder’s office where the Arizona property is located. Upon these acts, the "domiciliary foreign Personal Representative" now has full rights and all powers of a local Personal Representative and may conduct estate business and transactions in the State of Arizona.