Trust & Probate


Protection For Beneficiaries:

As a beneficiary, timely enforcement of your rights is vital and you have more control than you might think. Stephen Follett will help gain control of the process for beneficiaries that are being mistreated and bullied by a trustee or personal representative who is not honoring their duty.

Protection For Trustees and Personal Representatives:

Stephen Follett will guide you in the steps that make administration straightforward and business-like. When a Trustee follows their duties, they have the protection of the law from the complaints of beneficiaries. In an effort to avoid the cost of an attorney, a well intending Trustee or Personal Representative makes an innocent administrative mistake that needs correcting.


In order to successfully administer a trust, you must be familiar with Arizona’s estate laws and how they could potentially affect your case. Unless you are a professional trust administrator, it is likely that you will need an attorney to assist you in navigating through the process of administering your loved one’s trust. Common duties that trustees are generally responsible for include but are not limited to:

  • Notifying beneficiaries
  • Filing federal and state income taxes on the estate
  • Appraisal of estate assets
  • Accounting
  • Settling debts against the estate

Although the duties that a trustee is responsible for can seem overwhelming, especially if you have little background in legal issues or accounting, working with an attorney can be a great help. Your attorney can assist you in completing each step of the trust administration correctly and efficiently.


In some cases, an estate will need to go through the process of probate. Avoiding probate is often desirable, since probate can tie up property and assets for years and cost up to 5% of the estate’s value. In cases where probate cannot be avoided, such as when a deceased individual does not have a will or the will is found to be invalid, consulting with a seasoned Arizona probate lawyer is key. It is possible that the probate process will be mostly paperwork, however, in the case of a dispute, litigation may be necessary.

Allegations of Financial Exploitation, Fraud, & Undue Influence.

Exploitation may take the form of fraudulent wills or trusts, undue influence over parents, power or attorney abuse, theft, etc. On the other hand, unscrupulous heirs might use allegations of financial exploitation against the one person who cared for the parent and was rewarded. Knowing the signs and legal evidence is vital to recovery and protection of assets if there was exploitation.

Stephen W. Follett is an experienced trust and probate attorney in Arizona, and can provide you with the legal support you need when dealing with trust or probate issues. His unique approach involves ensuring that each of his clients fully understands their situation and the legal options available to them, so they can make informed choices about issues that can have a critical impact on their live and the lives of their loved ones.

If you are facing probate or need assistance administering a trust, contact Stephen W. Follett today to discuss your needs and to learn more about your next step. Use the “Request Consultation” button below or call now for a consultation.

Our office is conveniently located in Greater-Phoenix to the East Valley cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale in Maricopa County. We also serve Queen Creek, Johnson Ranch, Florence, and Apache Junction in Pinal County.