6 Steps to Creating Your Own Will
Step 1: List Your Assets
The first step for how to make a will in Arizona is to make a list of all your assets that are recognized under Arizona’s laws regarding probate. This will include things such as cash, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts. Next, list all personal items that have significant monetary or sentimental value to your heirs. Think of jewelry, antiques, and family heirlooms. Jot down the names of the people that you want to receive these items after your passing.
Don’t worry about small household items such as bedsheets, knick knacks, towels, and appliances – in Arizona, the law allows your executor to just name a value to these kinds of items and carry on with the other instructions in your will.
Step 2: List Your Heirs
Compile a list containing all your legal heirs (e.g., spouse, children). If there are any legal heirs that you don’t want to leave anything to, it’s critical that you state in your will that their omission was intentional; otherwise state law will cause them to be given a share of your estate.
Step 3: List Other Beneficiaries
“Other beneficiaries” includes anyone that you want to leave part of your estate to that is not a legal heir. This might include charities, your church or religious organization, and friends. Make a list of your intended beneficiaries, being sure to include their full legal name to ensure that they can be identified easily in court.
Step 4: Decide How to Distribute Your Assets
Go back to your assets list and write down the names of the people that you want to receive them. And remember, it’s okay to leave everything to one person if that’s your wish – you don’t have to divide things among a lot of people if that doesn’t make sense for your situation.
Step 5: Name Your Executor
Your executor is the one who will ensure that the instructions in your will are followed after your death. This is a big job – they’ll have to work through a lot of paperwork, and may spend months winding down your estate. So choose wisely – the person you select needs to have the time to do all this, be trustworthy, and be willing and able to complete the task.
Step 6: Make It Official
Handwritten, typed, and holographic wills are all allowed in Arizona. However, to be on the safe side if you’re doing this yourself, buy a form that meets Arizona’s requirements to ensure that you don’t miss anything important. If you are handwriting on the form (as opposed to typing), make sure the end result is legible; if it’s not readable, the courts will have to guess and make a judgment call on what to do.
We’re Here to Help Prepare Your Will!
Now that you know how to make a will in Arizona, you might still want to call a professional to ensure that everything is done correctly. If you need help, contact us and we can prepare your will for you for at your convenience for an affordable price.