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Wills and Estates

Certified Fiduciaries

A certified fiduciary is an individual or business serving as a court appointed guardian, conservator or personal representative (probate) for one or more persons, charging a fee, unrelated to the person or decedent and is not nominated in the will.

Each county in Arizona has a probate court which is part of the state’s court system. This probate court appoints the guardians for incapacitated persons, conservators for persons whose assets require protection, and personal representatives for the administration of decedents’ estates.

A guardian is appointed by the probate court to ensure the personal and medical needs of an incapacitated person are met. A person is determined by the court to be incapacitated when he or she lacks sufficient understanding to make or communicate responsible decisions about his or her daily living needs. Incapacity is usually a result of physical or mental illness, accident or dementia.

A conservator is appointed by the probate court to manage the financial affairs of someone who is determined by the court to be unable to manage his or her own finances or property.

A personal representative is appointed by the probate court to administer the estate of a person who died. The personal representative is responsible for identifying, inventorying and protecting all of the assets in the estate, paying bills and allowable claims against the estate, locating all of the heirs and beneficiaries, paying the administrative costs of probating the estate, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

Under Arizona law a professional fiduciary must be certified with the Arizona Supreme Court in order to be eligible for appointment by a probate court as a guardian, conservator or personal representative. State law requires that to become certified, fiduciaries must meet certain eligibility requirements. A directory of state-certified fiduciaries and businesses is available on the Certified Fiduciary Program website .

You can write to : Fiduciary Certification Program, Arizona Supreme Court, 1501 West Washington, Suite 104, Phoenix, AZ 85007-3327 or by calling (602) 452-3378. NOTE: The Program cannot refer you to a specific certified fiduciary or business for services. A complaint form is available on the website.





This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.