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How to Prepare a Last Will and Testament in Arizona
Did you know that if you die without a will, your estate becomes intestate? What that means is that, without a will, that estate you worked hard for goes to people you may or may not have wanted to have a hold of your property because the state takes over the role of property distribution.
If you (decedent) has a surviving spouse and kids, or if you only have a surviving spouse and descendants who double up as the spouses’ descendants, then your spouse will inherit everything you own. On the other hand, if you, the decedent leaves behind children and no spouse, your children will inherit everything.
The only way the surviving spouse gets to share that inheritance is if you leave behind descendants not related to the spouse.
Taking these into consideration, isn’t a will a great option? Well, you are in the best place, and the exciting bit is that we will give you a free last will and testament in Arizona at the end of this process.
But first, what is a will/ last will/ last will and testament?
Used interchangeably, these terms refer to one document, a crucial legal instrument signed by an average person. In the document, the person signing it (testator) indicates that upon their death, their property goes to a certain person or group. The free Arizona last will and testament will also appoint the person who gets the controlling stake for the property.
You should, however, note that the will only applies to the distribution of probate assets but not joint assets or assets with any form of beneficiary designation. Legally, the person who inherits your property is an heir or a beneficiary.
- But, just before we take a glimpse of the process of making a last will, what is the real/ legal purpose of a will?
- A will dictated who inherits your probate assets when you pass on. Besides property ownership, you need a will for asset protection.
- You can use it to protect your minor kids by naming a guardian
- It protects your estate from the intestacy rules
- Ensures protection of your wishes
- Allows creation of trusts like irrevocable trusts
How to create a last will and testament
- Label the document or double-check the document
- Fill out the last will form as per the statutory requirements.
- Enter your personal identification details -add your date of birth social security number.
- Incorporate a statement with details of your age and your mental status. You must be of sound mind (and not acting under duress) and 18 years or older. You have to write down that the document represents your last will. You may also enter the conditions for revocation of the will.
- Select Appoint an executor. Note that the executor is that person you expect to carry out directions as noted in your will. Your executor may be your spouse or a trusted friend. But, before you appoint them, talk to them about the will and the responsibilities bestowed. You should confirm their willingness. If your first option is unable or unwilling, choose an alternate.
- Identify your beneficiaries/ heirs. Often, it includes your spouse/ life partner, and children as the primary beneficiaries. If you want to add other parties, put down their names to avoid ambiguity.
- Choose a guardian for your children (minors) or other dependents. Choose a reliable person if you have underage kids but don’t forget to discuss the responsibilities before naming them. If you don’t choose a guardian, the court will.
- Take stock of your assets and liabilities. Assets include bank accounts, real estate, stocks, retirement accounts, bonds, or tangible assets. After you list all your assets, assign your heirs their ownership percentage from the total assets. You may make bequests for specific properties.
- Sign the will: No will is valid without your (testator’s) signature. Fortunately, the free last will form Arizona has a section for date and signature. Note that you need to sign the will with one or more adult witnesses present or at the notary public. If you opt for witnesses, get two and ensure that they sign the document within a reasonable time.
- Note: oral wills are unacceptable. However, holographic will are valid, but only if the details of the will and the signature are in the testator’s handwriting, no need for witnesses.
- Lastly, this will must be as per the requirements of the statutory Code Section 14-2501, et seq.
Don’t forget that a last will is only executable after your demise while a living will is executable when you are alive but unable to make the tough calls.
Would you like to prepare a will today? Our last will and testament in Arizona forms online will simplify the process.