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Arizona Wills Laws

Hope for the best, plan for the worst. It’s easy enough to say but harder to do. Especially when it comes to making a will, we have to get past our emotional fears of saying goodbye and our legal fears of getting everything right. Not every state has the same rules and regulations regarding how wills are created. Here is a quick guide to state laws regarding wills in Arizona.

Creating a Will

A will is a legally binding document or oral statement (allowed in limited circumstances) that lays out an individual's after-death plans for his or her property and affairs. For example, a person's will could state that his prized car collection should be split equally among his three siblings and that he would like his ashes deposited in the Pacific Ocean. Arizona will laws are similar to will laws in other states, but (unlike many states) also allows holographic, or handwritten, wills. Most wills follow a similar format, depending on the state.

Wills in Arizona

Wills laws can vary from state to state. The main provisions of Arizona's will laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

14-2501, et seq.

Age of Testator

18 years or older and of sound mind

Number of Witnesses

Signed by at least two persons, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after that person witnessed testator's acknowledgment of signature or of will.

Nuncupative (Oral Wills)

Not recognized

Holographic Wills

Valid if the signature and material provisions are in handwriting of testator; does not need to be witnessed (portions not in testator's handwriting may not be established as testator's will by extrinsic evidence of intent).

Will Terminology

These laws can contain some unfamiliar terms. The “testator” is the person making the will. A “nuncupative” will is an oral testament, can generally only dispose of a limited amount of personal property, and are not recognized as valid under Arizona law. “Holographic” wills are handwritten testaments, subject to more scrutiny than typed or printed wills. Some states have begun to recognize “electronic” wills, stored on computers.

Related Resources for Wills Laws

Creating a will, especially one that accomplishes everything the person making the will wants it to, can be difficult. If you would like legal assistance creating a will, or if you’d like to have a lawyer look at an existing will, you can consult with an experienced wills attorney in Arizona. You can also visit FindLaw’s wills section, which has more extensive information on making and changing a will.

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