Preparing to write a last will and testament in Arizona is an essential step to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing. A properly written will: avoid any disputes, designate your choice of guardian (If you have minor children) avoid intestacy laws, and ensure your personal wishes are carried out.
If you reside in Arizona, this article will provide you with all the necessary information you need to write a will in Arizona.
Who Can Write a Last Will and Testament in Arizona?
In Arizona, anyone who is of sound mind and at least 18 years old can write a will. You must be able to understand the nature and extent of your property and how you want it to be distributed after your passing. You must also be able to identify the people you want to receive your assets.
What Should Be Included in a Will?
The will must be in writing
Your will must be in writing, and it can be typed or handwritten.
Full legal name and address
Your full legal name and address must be included in the will.
Appointment of an executor
You must appoint an executor who will be responsible for managing your estate after your passing.
You must name the beneficiaries who will receive your assets after your passing.
Distribution of assets
You must specify how your assets will be distributed among your beneficiaries.
Appointment of a guardian
If you have minor children, you must appoint a guardian who will take care of them after your passing.
Your will must be signed by you and two witnesses who are over the age of 18 and not beneficiaries under the will.
How to Prepare to Write a Will in Arizona
If you’re ready to write your last will and testament in Arizona, here are the steps you should follow:
Gather the necessary information
Before you start writing your will, gather all the necessary information, such as the names and addresses of your beneficiaries and the assets you want to distribute.
Choose an executor
Choose someone you trust to be the executor of your estate. The executor will be responsible for managing your estate, paying off debts, and distributing your assets.
Name your beneficiaries
Decide who you want to receive your assets after your passing. You can name individuals, charities, or organizations as beneficiaries.
Determine how your assets will be distributed
Specify how your assets will be distributed among your beneficiaries. You can choose to distribute your assets equally or unequally.
Appoint a guardian
If you have minor children, appoint a guardian who will take care of them after your passing.
Consult with an attorney
Although it’s not required by law, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney when writing your will. An attorney can provide legal advice and ensure that your will is valid and legally binding.
Sign your will
Your will must be signed by you and two (or three in some jurisdictions) witnesses. All witnesses must be over the age of 18, and not beneficiaries under the will. Witnesses must witness your signature and also sign the will.
Registering Your Will Is Essential
It’s important to note that the failure to locate a loved one’s will can cause significant stress and strain for families. Families can become disconnected and relationships can be strained if a will cannot be found. Documenting your wishes in a will avoids disagreements and relieves stress on your loved ones. Therefore, it is important to take steps to ensure that your will is easily accessible. One way to do this is by registering your will with The U.S. Will Registry.
By registering your will, you create a record of its existence and location, making it easier for your family to find it when needed. The U.S. Will Registry is a private, secure, free service that allows you to register your will and provide information about its location and other details. You can also update your registration as needed to ensure that your information is always up to date.
Make certain you tell your family your will is registered. By doing so, you can provide your loved ones with the guidance and during a challenging time.
Store Your Will in a Safe Place
Another important step is to store a copy of your signed will in a safe and secure location. One option is to upload a copy of your will to a cloud-based storage service like iCloud. By doing so, you can ensure that your will is easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
It’s important to choose a secure cloud storage provider to ensure that your will is protected from unauthorized access or deletion. Sidedrawer.com is one option that offers free and secure cloud storage for important documents, including wills. This ensures you protect your documents and always have them available when you need them by using encryption and other security measures.
Finally, it’s important to ensure that your will is never intentionally or accidentally destroyed. You can do this by making multiple copies of your will and storing them in different locations, such as with your attorney, in a safe deposit box, or with a trusted family member or friend.
By taking these steps to register, store, and protect your will, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out after your passing and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Most Importantly: Updating Your Will
It’s important to review and update your will periodically, especially if there are changes in your life circumstances. If you get married/divorced, have children, or acquire new assets, you should update your will to reflect these changes.
To update your will, you can create a new will that revokes the old one or create a codicil, which is a legal document that amends your existing will. If you’re making significant changes to your will, it’s also a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure that your changes are legally valid.