Have you taken the time to write your own Will instead of having an attorney draft one for you? Will your assets be handed down as you’ve instructed in writing? According to ARS 14-2502 and ARS 14-2503, in the state of Arizona a handwritten Will, or “holographic Will” is valid as long as it is signed by the testator and the material provisions must be in the testator’s handwriting. Material provisions are the provisions that name beneficiaries and their gifts. The writing must indicate that the testator intends and wants to dispose of his or her property in the writing. A holographic Will may be witnessed but does not have to be.
If you are planning on writing a holographic will and choose to have a witness, it’s a good idea to pick a disinterested party (one who will not receive anything under the Will). The witness must also be generally competent, See ARS 14-2505. This could help avoid “challenges” of the will by other interested parties.
According to Arizona Law ARS 14-2504, Arizona allows for wills to be “self-proved” meaning that if the will is self-proven and a party does not challenge it, the will may be probated in a simple informal probate. The will can be self-proven if the testator and witness confirm the authenticity of the will in an affidavit in front of a notary, and the notary stamps the affidavit.
Although this may seem like a simple way to convey what you would like your beneficiaries to inherit, it can be very problematic and time-consuming if there is a challenge to the will. To help avoid these types of conflicts it is best to contact an attorney in Arizona who can help create and validate a clear and good legal standing will.
Call our Arizona Estate Planning team at (480)467-4325 to discuss your case today.