A will is a highly important legal document to any person during his or her lifetime. Arizona law says that if a person dies without a will, or intestate, his property will be distributed in accordance with the law on intestacy. In Arizona, the property will be distributed to the closest relative, from the spouse then to the children; in their absence, the grandchildren or the parents will receive the property. In the absence of these close relatives, the court will exhaust distant relatives such as siblings, grandparents and others. In case no living relative can be located, the court will take the property of the deceased for the state. Thus, it is very important to have a will as early as possible. A good wills attorney can assist you in this process.
There are legal requirements that need to be met before you can create a will and in order for it to be valid. The general rule is that a particular state will accept the validity of your will if that will has been validly executed in another state. The following are the general requirements for creating a valid will:
- The legal document needs to be typed or printed.
- The document must be signed by the “testator” or “testatrix,” the person making the will.
- It must also be signed by two witnesses who must be present during the execution of the will. They must witness the testator make and sign the document.
If you wish to know the specific requirements regarding wills in Arizona, read the Arizona Revised Statutes, particularly the following: Article 5 Wills, Sections 14-2501 through 14-2505, Chapter 2 Intestate Succession and Wills, and Title 14 Trusts, Estates and Protective Proceedings. Pursuant
A will that is not challenged is a self-proven will. This means that the court automatically accepts the will as valid and authentic. So in a self-proven will, the witnesses are not required to testify in court as regards the validity and authenticity of the will. All that is required, as provided under Section 14-2504, is that the testator and the two witnesses affirm the authenticity of the will in an affidavit before a certified notary public. Such an affidavit must be attached to the will.
The aforementioned statements are just the basic requirements for a will in Arizona. Creating a will does not have to be complex process, particularly if you are guided by a reliable and experienced wills attorney. If you would like to create a will but aren’t sure where to start, contact us. We can help.