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Faith, Ledyard & Faith, PLC dba Faith Law
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Which wills does Arizona estate planning allow?

You’ve probably heard stories of spouses or loved ones encountering all sorts of legal issues after their family member died in a condition of intestacy. This term refers to those who pass away without having executed a last will and testament. If you don’t want this to happen to you, you can begin the estate planning process right away. First, you must review Arizona estate laws to determine which types of wills this state recognizes.

Every state has its own estate planning laws. If you issue a will not recognized in Arizona, then a probate judge will rule it invalid. If no valid will exists, then your estate becomes intestate, which means the probate court will determine how to distribute your assets. There is, of course, the possibility that the decisions would not necessarily align with what your preferences might have been. This is why you want to make sure you have a valid will in place before you die.

Arizona does not permit nuncupative wills for estate planning

A nuncupative will is a will that spoken by the testator, not written. In the past, people have executed this type of will during war time, when they had mortal wounds and were saying final words on their death bed. Most people simply refer to this as an oral will. You might think it’s a lot easier to speak your instructions rather than place them in writing. You’ll want to note that nuncupative wills are not valid in Arizona.

On the other hand, Arizona does allow holographic wills. You would be creating a holographic will if you were to write out your material property and list of beneficiaries in your own handwriting. State law permits holographic wills if the testator has listed material possessions in his or her own handwriting and has added his or her signature to the end of the document.

What are the requirements for the “regular” type of will?

Most Arizona estate owners use printed wills, which is the most basic type of will for estate planning. You must be at least 18 and be able to demonstrate soundness of mind when you execute a last will and testament. You must also have two (or more) witnesses who sign your will to confirm that they witnessed your signature or acknowledgement of the document.

If you don’t want to use witnesses, then a holographic will might be the way to go, since none are a requirement. It’s worth noting, however, that someone often challenges a handwritten will in court.


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