questions & answers
Question: Do I need a will?
If you want the following issues handled, then do prepare a will:
- You want to disinherit an heir.
- You want to provide for friends/charities/spouse/children/family members.
- You want to revoke prior wills.
- You want an unequal distribution among your beneficiaries.
- You are leaving money to minor or disabled beneficiaries (always do a trust in the will or name a custodian under the Arizona Uniform Transfers to Minors Act - Do not leave money outright as a conservatorship proceeding will be necessary).
- You want to provide for your pet (assets cannot be left directly to your pet but can go to a Trustee to manage the assets needed to care for your pet; the trust ends after a certain time period).
- You want to name Personal Representative(s) to manage notifying heirs and creditors, paying taxes, creditors and administrative expenses, and distribution to beneficiaries.
- You have a spouse and children from a prior marriage and want to be clear who gets what of your assets.
- Your wishes regarding final arrangements (please realize that if your wishes are not known before death and arrangements are done before the will is found, your wishes may be ineffective.)
- You wish to nominate a guardian for minor or disabled individuals.
In Arizona, a holographic will is valid; you must write out the will in your own handwriting and sign it. A date is also helpful, as is a note about whether you are revoking prior wills.
The will can be typed, signed by you and witnessed by two people and then signed by a notary public. The notary public cannot be a witness. The two witnesses and notary public should not be related to you or a beneficiary/personal representative in the will.
DO NOT write on your will after it has been signed. If you want to make changes, prepare a codicil or a new will. If someone’s address has changed, do not write on the document, simply note it on a separate page called “contact information.”
Do I need a will?
- Let us know how we are doing! Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey.
- Please select your county of residence below.
State Bar of Arizona
Maricopa County Bar
Referral number 602-257-4434
Pima County Bar
Referral number 520-623-4625
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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