Wills

willsA Will is a written expression or declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the distribution of his or her property after death.   Wills are executed with certain formalities prescribed by the laws of the state where it is executed. A holographic Will is a testamentary document that is entirely in the handwriting of the testator or which has its material provisions completed in the handwriting of the testator and is signed by the testator. A self-proved Will is a testamentary document which includes an affidavit of attesting witnesses in a form prescribed by statute.

A person must be at least eighteen years of age and of sound mind to make a Will. In Arizona a typewritten Will is valid if it is signed by the person making the Will (the testator or testatrix) and signed by at least two people who witnessed either the signing of the Will or the testator’s acknowledgment of his or her signature. It is possible for a person to direct another to sign a Will for him or her, if the testator is unable to sign; it is also possible for a testator to sign by a mark. The Will forms provided in this Library are not formatted for this option; you should consult a legal professional, if you cannot sign your Will.

A Will that is not typewritten is valid in Arizona provided that the Will is signed by the testator and all the material provisions of the Will are in the handwriting of the testator. This is known as a holographic Will; it can be witnessed but there is no requirement that it be witnessed.

A Will can be revoked by the testator at any time, in whole or in part. Often a Will is revoked by executing a new Will which specifically states that any prior Will is revoked. A Will can also be revoked by actions, such as tearing up the original. Wills can also be changed or amended by a Codicil which is executed with the same formality as the original Will and which deletes and/or adds certain provisions to the original Will by specific reference to the original Will and the provisions or clauses being changed.

Refer to Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 14-2501 through Section 14-2517 for more specific information regarding Wills in Arizona.

The Wills provided in this Form Library are basic forms of Wills for

  • a married person with children common to the marriage;
  • a married person with children from a prior marriage and children common to the current marriage, if any;
  • a married person with no children;
  • an unmarried person with children;
  • a unmarried person without children.

All of the Will forms in the Library provide standard clauses with a variety of optional clauses:

1. Standard clauses:

  • States names of spouse and children, if any.
  • States that your burial or cremation shall be arranged by your personal representative, in his or her discretion.
  • Provides for the name of a personal representative (executor) and an alternate personal representative; there is an option to name a third alternate personal representative.
  • Wills for married persons provide that an estate will pass to the surviving spouse, and if the spouse is deceased, the estate will pass to surviving children in equal shares.
  • Wills for either a married person or an unmarried person with no children provide options to leave an estate in proportional shares to other persons or institutions (including 100% to one person or institution); there is an option to name alternate beneficiaries if any named person predeceases the testator or if an institution is not in existence at the death of the testator.
  • All Wills contain a provision for a written statement where small gifts, typically sentimental items, can be gifted to specific persons; this written statement form is provided with the printed Will.

2.  Other provisions:

  • Optional provision to name a guardian and an alternate guardian for minor children, if any; there is an option to name a third alternate guardian,
  • Optional provision for a survival clause for a husband and wife to indicate who will be deemed to have survived or predeceased the other in the event of a common death.
  • Optional provision for a 30-day survival clause for any beneficiary.
  • Optional provision for a “No Contest” clause which states that the gift or inheritance of any person who contests the Will shall be voided. Note this clause is not enforceable “…if probable cause exits.”

Please review the descriptive information provided for each Will form as well as the Informational Checklist to be sure the form will meet your requirements. Please contact Cautela Corporation for assistance in the preparation of Wills which can make other and more specific provisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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