A Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document controlling how property is distributed after a person passes away. It is one of the most fundamental legal documents in estate planning. In the state of Arizona, the basic requirements are as follows:
- The maker of the Will, called the testator, must be at least 18 years old
- He or she must be of sound mind at the time the Will is signed
- The Will must be executed according to specific rules and regulations
- After your death, the Will must be filed by the probate court in order for it to become effective
A Will can help you accomplish all of the following goals:
- Allow you, not the state, to determine who receives your assets after you pass away
- Name a person of your choosing as guardian for your minor children
- Name the person or institution you want to manage your estate after death
- Allow real estate and other assets to be sold without a court proceeding after you pass away
- Bequeath gifts to charity upon your death
- Determine who will have responsibility for paying estate and other taxes
If you die without a Will, your property will be distributed according to formulas set forth in the Arizona statutes. The state, not you, controls who gets what. The state can also appoint the person to manage your estate, appoint someone to raise your minor children and make other decisions that might not reflect your wishes.
At Cholewka Law, our Arizona estate planning attorneys can design a customized Will that addresses your particular needs, goals and concerns. We can help ensure that you give what you want to whom you want in the manner you want. We can also administer your estate to ensure your wishes are carried out to the letter of the law. Contact us today for a personal meeting to discuss your specific needs.