What is a Last Will and Testament


A Arizona Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their children’s inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representative—or co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)—to manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedent’s debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedent’s property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usually—in most states—means it must be properly witnessed, as well—not just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedent’s debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedent’s heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedent’s property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a Arizona Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they don’t, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  Arizona free information on last will and testament forms.

Last Will Documents in Arizona

Basic Notion

The importance of a Last Will is often overlooked yet creating a Last Will and Testament is an option to manage and distribute your properties wisely after your death. Today, to draft a Last Will Paper, you do not have to consult a lawyer as there are several Last Will and Testament template websites on the Internet accessible from anywhere in the world. The basic prerequisites for this document are that its author should be of sound mind, and the procedure should be accompanied by two chosen witnesses.

It is crucial to get acquainted with the particularities of the Last Will laws in your state. This article will help you learn the state-specific last will guidelines and tips for the state of Arizona.

Is it legally binding to create Last Will in Arizona?

Carrying about conceiving the Last Will paper is not an obligation in the state of Arizona, though it is very welcome since it gives mutual benefits for the heirs and the testator and provides for a reasonable distribution and possession of personal assets. For instance, it may presuppose appointing a guardian for your children under age, a caretaker for your pets, and the optimal owner for your valuable assets.

Legal Terms and Conditions to Create a Last Will in Arizona

The person creating the will form commonly called a testator. According to the Arizona will requirements, a testator can distribute the assets between the heirs (close and distant relatives), spouse, children, and in some cases, even pets. An alternative option to consider is sharing your properties with a charitable organization mentioned in your Arizona Last will. A person accountable for the proper distribution of inheritance shares is known as an executor. Thus, one should think of appointing a trusted executor beforehand; otherwise, if one has not left a last will, the Arizona laws will select the executor of an estate. Apart from establishing trusts caring for people, Arizona law specifically allows the testator to set up a trust for the care of animals alive upon the testator's death: in this case, Arizona last will regulations imply the possibility to grant a person's assets into creating a so-called "pet trust" (a trust for the care of living animals within 21 years or less) and also provides for the option of caring for his pets after his death.

Key requirements and terms for creating the last will in Arizona are as follows:

  • The testator can not be under 18 years of age;

  • The testator must be of sound mind and make an independent decision on the preparation of the document;

  • The distribution of assets may include an unlimited circle of people (spouse, heirs, distant relatives, friends, and so on) as well as charity organizations;

  • The document must be signed by at least two witnesses, who must also be present at the moment of validation;

  • The testator is responsible for the proper signatures of all parties involved, including himself.

  • The document must be in written form.

How Are the Terms of a Will Accepted?

To start with, the Last Will is not considered fully lawful until it is validated in the probate court. As we have already noticed, the form the presence of two witnesses is required for the Last Will to enter into force. Keep in mind that the notary certification is an additional yet profitable option meant to bypass the unrequired checking procedures in the future.

Arizona law provides for both formal and informal probate procedures; the first is done when the validity of the will is challenged, and the second allows the process to proceed without court intervention (but requires court approval). Once all the participants accept the assets and properties in accordance with the will when the time comes, an executor becomes accountable for paying fees owed by the estate and debts if there are any, and after that, proceeds to distribute the testator’s assets according to the will.

It is of utmost importance to keep in mind that in the state of Arizona, the probate has to be started within two years of the person's death, and objections to the will are to be presented within the same two years.

Can I Change The Content of My Last Will or Postpone It?

Arizona laws imply the option of modifying the existing Last Will by creating an additional form and validating it. Besides, the testator has the right to draft a new version of a Last Will after the previous one is physically destroyed by the testator himself.

What Will Happen to My Property if I Don't Have a Last Will In Arizona?

As the Arizona laws claim, one is not legally obliged to draft and present the Last Will. In such an event, the rights to your properties are expected to be transferred to any of the person's relatives - under Arizona laws, it is mostly the spouse (otherwise, children, parents, or other relatives). The share is defined by the state court.

If a deceased person has left no mentions of close relatives, the assets may be distributed among more distant relatives depending on the particular circumstances.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament in Arizona (which basically implies not only two witnesses present but also the proper signatures are required), a court appoints a person to be the personal representative of the deceased one who is obliged to pay the debts, liquidize properties, and so on. Then the remaining assets will be shared among the decedent's heirs in compliance with the regulations of the state.



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