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How to Create a Will in Arizona

Updated: February 2, 2023

Est. Reading: 5 minutes

One of our most asked questions is how to create a will in Arizona. For a start, it is necessary for an individual to state the requirement valid for one to create a valid last will and testament. One of our main recommendations on how to create a will in Arizona is to work with a skilled will planning attorney in Glendale when you are creating your will so you have a seamless process. You can get in touch with Monahan Law Firm for estate planning services. 

Steps to Create a Will in AZ

Here are some steps that can help you create a will in Arizona.

Start By Listing Your Assets

One of the first major steps in creating a will in Arizona is to list down every one of your assets that have been recognized under the Arizona state laws in regard to probate. Some of these assets can include investment accounts, bank accounts, retirement accounts, cash, and vehicles.

After you have done that you can then list down personal items that have sentimental value or a significant monetary value to the heirs. These things can be family heirlooms, jewelry, and antiques. You can then write down a list of people that you would want to receive these particular items after you pass away.

an attorney creating a will for a client

Small household items such as towels, bed sheets, and appliances should not worry you. In the state of Arizona, the law allows the executor of your will to name the value of these items, and then you can carry on with the instructions in the will.

Name Your Heirs

Make a list of all of your heirs, which can include your children, spouse, parents, relative by blood, and others. In the case where you have legal heirs that you do not want to leave an inheritance, it is crucial for you to mention that you omitted them from the will intentionally. If you do not do so the state law will cause them to be given a share of your estate.

If any List Other Beneficiaries

Other beneficiaries can include other individuals that are not legal heirs but to who you want to leave part of your estate to. They can include friends, charities, religious organizations, or the church. Make sure that you have a list of the beneficiaries that you intend to have and that include their full legal name so they can be easily identified in court.

Make a Decision on How You Will Distribute Your Assets

Review your asset list and write down the names of all the people that you want to receive these assets. If it doesn’t make sense for your situation to divide things among different people you should remember that it is okay for you to leave everything to one individual.

Name The Executor of Your Will

The person that ensures that all of your wishes are followed through after your death is known as the executor. It is an important job as it will require an individual to work through a lot of paperwork and it may take the executor months to wind down the individual’s estate. It is crucial for you to choose the individual that is going to execute your will wisely. You should choose an individual that is trustworthy, that is not only able but willing to carry out the task and see it through to the end.

Learn More: When should you create a will?

Have Your Will Drafted

In Arizona, it is allowed to have handwritten wills, holographic wills, and typed wills. Even though this is the case you want to be on the safe side if you are writing your will by yourself. Make sure that you buy a form that is in line with Arizona’s state requirements so you do not miss anything important. If you are handwriting on the document and not typing you should make sure that the document is readable. If the document is not readable it will result in the court guessing what you have written and they will make the last judgment call.

After writing a will you should sign it and also have witnesses sign it so it can be considered a legal document and it should then be kept in a safe place. 

Why You Should Have a Will Made

Having a will is a good idea for most people. However, having a will is not ideal for everyone. You may not be in need of a will if:

  • You do not have any kids
  • You don’t have a lot of property.
  • You are all in understanding how the estate will be properly distributed when you die.

However, if you have a property and estate assets that you feel would be necessary to put in order here are some of the reasons why you should have a will made:

You Will Be Making the Difficult Time Less Difficult

It is difficult to lose a loved one. The last thing that an individual grieving a deceased person wants is to spend their hard time in disputes with attorneys and conflicts among family members. When you make a will you will protect your loved ones from having to go through an excessively complicated process during the time they are mourning.

a closeup of a pen and form for drafting a will

You Can Choose a Guardian for Your Children

As a parent, you know your children more than anyone else. If you die without having a will and testament the state will decide who will take care of your children or family custody issue. However, if you write a will you can have peace of mind knowing you have chosen someone that you love and trust to take care of them.

Protect Your Business

With proper estate planning, you can pass down your entire estate in an orderly fashion to the owners and co-owners of your business.

What You Should Include in a Will

Your last will and testament should include details such as your list of property and assets and who will inherit the assets. Also, if you have children you should mention who will be their guardian until they are of legal age and as well mention the administrator or executor and a backup executor of your personal property. 

You can as well mention funeral expenses and your funeral wishes such as whether you want to be buried or cremated after you die.

Related Content: What should every senior know about estate planning?

How to Make Sure Your Will is Valid

For your will to be considered valid in Arizona it must meet certain requirements;

  • An individual should be at least 18 years of age.
  • The individual should be of sound mind. That is they should understand what it means to make a will and should be capable of making reasonable judgments.
  • The individual should have an understanding of the nature and the extent of the property and relationships they have
  • The will must be in writing which means that it should exist in physical form. A digital copy of the will such as a PDF is not considered valid.
  • The decision made in the will should be free and voluntary and should not be a result of improper persuasion, restraint, or coercion.
  • The will should at least be signed in front of two witnesses.
  • Electronic wills are now allowed in Arizona.

Monahan Law Firm as an estate planning law firm has estate attorneys that can help you catch the common mistakes that occur when individuals are drawing up estate documents. We are knowledgeable about estate laws and we can want to help you ensure that your estate planning experience is smooth.

Get in touch with a skilled estate planning lawyer from Monahan law firm today and let us help you with your entire estate plan.

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Attorney Patrick Monahan

Patrick Monahan

Patrick Monahan is the managing partner of Monahan Law Firm, PLC. Patrick began his legal career practicing real estate, construction, and general business litigation.
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