John R. Fitzpatrick
Attorney at Law
John Fitzpatrick is a senior partner at Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP with over 24 years of legal experience, 21 of which have been with the firm. As an attorney, he enjoys a long-standing AV® Preeminent 5.0™* rating--the highest possible rating from his peers for legal ability and ethical standards. John was also named one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers in July of 2011, www.azfinestlawyers.org. John's practice focuses on assisting people and financial institutions in inheritance disputes, commercial/business litigation and civil appellate advocacy. John was named a “Top Rated Lawyer in Trusts & Estates” for 2013 by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media.
In his estate, probate and trust litigation practice, John can help to resolve a vast array of controversies. Whether the issues relate to guardianship, conservatorship or probate matters, or trust-related or fiduciary-related controversies, John is able to leverage his decades of trial experience, the broad base of his legal knowledge, and the firm's numerous strengths to provide his clients an exceptionally high level of service and sharply honed trial skills.
John is personally experienced in all manner of estate-related controversies, including: will, trust and estate plan contests (including incapacity, undue influence, exploitation, duress, failure to read and understand challenges), will and trust interpretation disputes, beneficiary rights, fiduciary rights, fiduciary duty and liability issues, asset distribution issues, trust and trustee disputes, contested guardianships and conservatorships, power of attorney and power of appointment controversies, financial exploitation, vulnerable adult and financial elder abuse claims, trust and probate administration, trustee, personal representative and fiduciary appointment, removal and priority disputes, controversies among or between beneficiaries, trustees, co-trustees, executors, personal representatives, guardians and conservators or other fiduciaries, intestate/intestacy and heirship matters, family allowance and exemption rights, omitted spouse disputes, forfeiture claims and defenses, fiduciary accounting, fee and surcharge disputes, and disputes on behalf of or against children from prior marriages.
Because estate, probate and trust law often overlaps with other areas of the law, John's considerable legal experience in other areas enables him to provide exceptional, one-stop service. John has handled cases involving community property issues, commercial litigation and transactions, real estate, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, business succession and corporate control disputes, partnership and LLC matters, debtor-creditor controversies, family-owned or closely held business issues, validity and authenticity of written instrument disputes, breach of contract matters, foreclosure proceedings, constructive trust claims, real property title, succession, encumbrance, and lease issues, capacity to contract issues, agency issues, co-owner disputes (joint tenancy and co-tenancy), negligence, misrepresentation, fraud and theft claims, annuity and custodial account disputes. He is also experienced in addressing life insurance disputes, death benefit, death beneficiary and pay-on-death (POD) issues and controversies, and other non-probate transfer matters.
Many so-called "probate" and estate planning lawyers will understand or at least recognize these overlapping legal issues, but it's quite another thing for the lawyer to go to court and meaningfully address such matters at trial or on appeal. Even highly skilled trial lawyers who practice in other areas of the law can often get lost within the procedural nuances of the Probate Courts. John bridges that all-too-common gap. He brings all that and more to the attorney-client relationship.
Because of the vast array of legal services that Frazer, Ryan, Goldberg & Arnold provides, John and his colleagues are uniquely equipped to address even more legal matters that overlap with estate, probate and trust litigation and administration. Together, John and the firm can handle estate tax filings and controversies, a decedent's income tax and withholding liability concerns, IRA issues, charitable trust issues, sophisticated tax and estate planning and analysis, personal injury, neglect and abuse claims, elder law matters of all sorts, mental health proceedings, programs and benefits, civil and criminal tax controversies, and the analysis of all manner of qualified plan/ERISA rights and obligations.
John has a strong track record for achieving results for his clients. He has developed a solid reputation in probate and trust litigation, as well as in commercial litigation, for the high quality of his legal services, his well-considered counsel, his candor, honesty, and respectful demeanor, and his dedication to his clients. He offers a frank analysis of a client's rights, obligations and prospects, as well as a clear understanding of the litigation process and an idea of the potential expense. He regularly encourages an economic analysis of all litigation decisions, including the most significant of those-the engagement of counsel. After all, not all probate disputes justify the often considerable expense of hiring a lawyer.
Because of the numerous factors effecting estate litigation, many of which are under no one's control, John always encourages clients and opponents alike to seek out more constructive means of resolving such disputes, including arbitration and mediation. Whether the case requires litigating or negotiating, John brings the same attentiveness, expertise to each situation, working diligently for and with undivided loyalty on behalf of his client.
John's considerable experience, work ethic and expertise were all recently recognized when he was named in 2005 a "Top Up-and-Coming Attorney in Arizona". He has served the judiciary in the past as a Judge Pro Tempore of the Maricopa County Superior Court and of the Justice Courts.
John offices in Phoenix, Arizona, but will handle or assist in cases throughout Arizona, including those filed in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, Gila, Coconino, La Paz, Navajo and Yuma counties. He is also available to consult with attorneys handling Arizona cases filed in Mohave, Apache, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz County, Arizona.
* AV, BV and CV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.