Losing Spouse/Parent

questions & answers

Question: do we need to file a copy of our wills to probate? We only have a mobile home, car and personal belongings. Do we have to go thru an attorney to make up a will? Can we do it ourselves? thank you


Do I need an attorney to create a will?

A person does not have to have an attorney to set up a living will. A.R.S. § 36-3262 provides a 'sample' living will, which can be modified to wishes. A.R.S. § 36-3201 provides definitions that may be helpful when interpreting a living will. If you think that your will might be contested or if you want to disinherit your spouse, you should talk with an attorney.

What are the requirements for signing a will in Arizona?

To finalize your will in Arizona:
•you must sign your will in front of two witnesses, and
•your witnesses must sign your will.
A.R.S. 36-3261.

Do I need to have my will notarized?
In Arizona, you do not need to notarize your will to make it legal.  However, Arizona allows you to make your will "self-proving" and you'll need to go to a notary if you want to do that. A self-proving will speeds up probate because the court can accept the will without contacting the witnesses who signed it. To make your will self-proving you and your witnesses will go to the notary and sign an affidavit that proves who you are and that each of you knew you were signing the will. A.R.S. 36-0392. http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/36/03292.htm&Title=36&DocType=ARS

Should I use my will to name a personal representative?

Yes. In Arizona, you can use your will to name a personal representative who will ensure that the provisions in your will are carried out after your death. If you don't name a personal representative, the probate court will appoint someone. A.R.S. 36-3221.

What happens if I die without a will?

In Arizona, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws. Arizona's intestacy law gives your property to your closest relatives, beginning with your spouse and children. If you have neither a spouse nor children, your grandchildren or your parents will get your property. This list continues with increasingly distant relatives, including siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and your spouse's relatives. If the court exhausts this list to find that you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, the state will take your property. A.R.S. 36-3231.


  • do we need to file a copy of our wills to probate? We only have a mobile home, car and personal belongings. Do we have to go thru an attorney to make up a will? Can we do it ourselves? thank you


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