Trusts Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

Tell us about the landmark living trust case you tried.

Phoenix, AZ estate planning attorney Mark A. Bregman talks about a big case he tried.

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Well in the early ‘90s IN RE: Pilafas and become one of the most cited cases in probate law in Arizona because it touched on so many areas that commonly come up. But that was basically a case where the fellow died, he had a bunch of valuable property, mobile home parks titled in the name of a trust but nobody could find the original trust. And so, on one side the family was arguing well, you have to treat the trust as if it was a will and if it’s presumed to be last seen in the hands of the testator and it you can’t find it that’s presumed to be destroyed and therefore, he died intestate as to those assets. And the court said no, you know all we have to do is prove what the terms of the trust are. We know there’s a trust because we have real estate that’s in the trust. The lesson of that case is if you don’t want the trust to be enforced you better take the property out of the trust before you destroy the trust.

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