Wills and estate planning can be a very complicated process if you don’t know the major elements of the process and the requirements for the documents that are required to create an effective estate plan. In Arizona, as in many states, the term ‘last will and testament’ is interchangeable with a will. Basically, a will is used to bequest your property to other people and organisations. It can also be used to appoint a guardian for minor children and a trustee for the management of property. You can also appoint someone to execute your intentions in relation to your estate.
Intestacy in Arizona
There are a variety of laws in Arizona which determine how your estate is administered if you die without a valid will. As in the case of most states in the United States, the law ensures that the closest relatives of the deceased person are the first to benefit from the estate. The partner, children, grandchildren, parents, brothers and sisters and then extended family are the legally naturally beneficiaries of the estate where there is no specific direction from the testator. If there is absolutely no remaining relative, it is possible that the estate of a person can become the property of the state.
Need for legal representation
It is possible to make a will on your own in the state of Arizona. Legal advice is certainly beneficially and it is always necessary to seek legal advice in relation to these matters to ensure that you are receiving professional advice. This is particularly so if there is any possibility that the estate would be contested. A lawyer can assist with processes like registering the will for approval with a court to prevent challenges to the will.
Legal Rules For a Valid Will in Arizona
The most basic requirements for the signing of a will in Arizona are that it is signed before two witnesses who must sign the will. In Arizona, there is no need for the will to be notarised but it is preferable because it means that there is no need for the court to contact the witnesses of the will if it is notarised, therefore speeding up the process of seeking probate and avoiding potential legal expense. The process of notarisation requires an affidavit of identity.
Executor or personal representative appointment
Arizona certainly allows the testator of a will to appoint their executor or personal representative who is the person that is responsible for the execution of the intentions expressed in the will. Without an appointment of an executor, the court appoints someone which may not be in accordance with your intentions so it is usually preferable to appoint someone under the terms of your will.