Will and Testament Lawyer in Arizona
Arizona Will Lawyers
Making a will is a crucial part of your estate plan. A will is an essential document if you want to make sure your final wishes are honored and that your surviving loved ones have a clear plan to follow after your passing. A will can save your family members burdensome legal costs and spare them from hostile family disputes after you have passed.
The Arizona estate planning attorneys at Brown & Hobkirk, PLLC will help you create a will that clearly and thoroughly expresses your wishes. We will carefully listen to your concerns before we help you draft this important document. Our estate planning lawyers have the skills, resources and experience to walk you through every step of the process. We will ensure your goals are met, and your plans are legally sound.
Over the past two decades, the law firm of Brown & Hobkirk, PLLC has helped thousands of clients create their estate plans. We have created basic end-of-life plans as well as complex trusts. Allow us to provide you with individualized legal guidance and help you create your will and other estate documents.
Call us today, and we can schedule a time to discuss your Arizona will. For your convenience, we have offices in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Chandler, and Tucson. We are ready to give your estate plan the attention and care it deserves.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Write a Will
We recommend that you hire an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney to help you with your will. Here’s why:
- A lawyer has the skills necessary to create a will. A lawyer specializing in drafting wills typically has years of experience and extensive knowledge in the area of estate planning. A lawyer will be able to provide insight into the best and most effective way to achieve your goals. Attorneys can make sure the correct documents are prepared properly and in a timely manner. Lawyers can also act as a neutral third-party, meaning they can look objectively at the facts and circumstances of your situation.
- An attorney will use the correct wording. If you are not an experienced Arizona attorney, you probably do not know how to properly word a will. Your will could later be challenged in probate court by someone who feels they were wronged by the document you drafted. Disagreements can arise if the wording in your will is not legally clear. At Brown & Hobkirk, PLLC our attorneys can ensure your intentions are stated clearly and in the appropriate legal terms.
- A lawyer can save you time, energy, and money. Creating a will is a complicated task. Having an experienced legal professional help draft the will lifts a heavy burden from your shoulders. An experienced Arizona attorney will know what questions to ask for tax and financial benefits.
- An attorney can help you update the will. Your life’s plan can rapidly change when you get married, go through a divorce or have a child. These life events create an opportune time to review and update your will. Working with an Arizona lawyer who specializes in wills can help ensure the correct language is used for your unique and evolving situation.
- An attorney can avoid common mistakes. If you choose to write your own will, you may overlook important requirements that are set out in Arizona law. For example, you may accidentally name the wrong executor or fail to name a guardian. A skilled attorney is familiar with the complexities and legalities associated with writing a will. That attorney can ensure nothing is accidentally omitted.
What Should Be Included in Your Will?
If you are drafting a new will, these items should be included.
- The name of a Personal Representative or Executor
- The people you want gifted with your possessions
- Alternate beneficiaries in case you outlive your beneficiaries
- An explanation of how to settle debts and funeral expenses
- Instructions for maintaining your real estate
- The person who will care for your pets
Information to Gather in Preparation for Making a Will
As you prepare to draft a will, gather these key documents:
- Birth, death, marriage & divorce certificates
- Deeds to all real estate
- Titles to vehicles
- Checking account statements
- Savings account statements
- Investment portfolio account numbers
- Retirement accounts
- Insurance policy numbers
- Funeral plans and burial information
Tips for Talking to Your Beneficiaries About Your Estate Plan
These tips may be helpful when you talk with your beneficiaries.
- Prepare for questions. Your family may have many questions about your estate plan, including why you chose to divide the estate in the way you did. Before you discuss your plans with your family, prepare your answers to those kinds of questions.
- Limit conflicts before they happen. Avoid future conflicts among family members about your estate by keeping your will up to date. Make plans to regularly update your estate plan, especially after major life events such as divorce, marriage or the birth of a child.
- Keep it positive. When bringing up your estate plans, keep the discussion positive. Invite a moderator to the discussion if you think you need one. A moderator can keep the discussion from becoming confrontational.
- Keep the communication lines open. Be as open and transparent as possible when talking about your estate plan. Schedule regular meetings to keep the family updated on any changes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Wills in Arizona
Following are answers to the common questions we get from our Arizona clients about their wills.
For a will to be valid in Arizona, it must meet these requirements:
- The will must be printed or typed.
- The will must be signed by the testator, who is the person drafting the will.
- The will must be signed by two witnesses.
Arizona law does not require that a will be notarized. However, we recommend that you have your will notarized. If the signatures of the testator and the witnesses are notarized, the will is considered “self-proved” under law. Arizona courts will accept a self-proved will as authentic.
Arizona recognizes the legal validity of a handwritten will, which is also known as a holographic will. To ensure a handwritten will is considered valid, these requirements must be met:
- The will must be in your own handwriting.
- You must be 18 or older.
- You must sign the will.
- You must explain how you wish to distribute your assets to beneficiaries.
Two witnesses are required under Arizona law.
You may revoke or change your will at any time. You can do this by:
- Performing a “revocatory act” such as burning, tearing, canceling or destroying the will.
- Making a new will and stating that the new document is revoking the old will.
If you die without a will in Arizona, the state will distribute your assets based on Arizona’s intestacy succession laws. Typically, your estate will go to your surviving spouse and children.
Talk to an Arizona Will Lawyer Now
Brown & Hobkirk, PLLC is a full-service Arizona law firm that offers experienced legal counsel in all areas of estate planning. Our attorneys approach each case with an in-depth understanding of our clients’ unique needs and wishes. This enables our Arizona will attorneys to create a will that achieves all of your goals.
We are ready to provide you with skilled guidance based on our more than 20 years of estate planning experience. Call us today to schedule a meeting with our Arizona will attorneys.