Inherited Parcels Trump Law
Question: After our father passed away recently we learned that he had created a revocable living trust with myself and my six brothers and sisters as equal beneficiaries. One of the assets in this RLT is an 80-acre agricultural parcel of land near Buckeye. My understanding is that, if a parcel of land is split into six or more parcels, the Arizona Department of Real Estate will require compliance with the subdivision laws, including a public report. Can this 80-acre agricultural parcel be divided equally into parcels of approximately 11.4 acres each among the seven children without a public report?
Answer: Yes. You are correct that, if a parcel of land is split into six or more parcels, there generally must be compliance with Arizona subdivision laws, including the filing of a public report. This public report can be expensive and must disclose to potential owners such facts as access to utilities, ingress and egress to the property and water rights. An exception to this requirement of a public report, however, is any split into six or more parcels by “operation of law.” An example of this exception is the dissolution of a corporation with more than six shareholders that owns a parcel of land. Another example is a transfer upon death, e.g., your father passing away with his seven children as beneficiaries of his revocable living trust. Therefore, each of your father’s seven children should be able to receive a parcel of approximately 11.4 acres without any public report. Finally, each of the seven children could then split the parcel that they receive into up to five parcels to be offered for sale to buyers without a public report.