Why Do I Need a Will in My Estate Plan?
What Is a Will?
A Last Will and testament works as a legal document drafted by an estate planning attorney. It provides directions to the probate courts for the distribution of your property. This document also gives directions regarding the care of minor children or incapacitated adults. It allows you to control who gets your property and valuables after your gone.
Some people, if they have estate planning documents, have a testamentary will. An estate planning attorney drafts the document. The Grantor signs it, and two witnesses sign it. Arizona law requires a written document with two witnesses in order for the will to be valid. The Grantor (or creator of the will) must also be at least 18 years of age. They must have testamentary capacity and intent. Others must not unduly influence them.
The Grantor creates this document on their own by writing it out by hand. Arizona law recognizes holographic wills. The law does not require such wills to have witnesses. However, one must prove the will as written by the Grantor.
This is typically included with a Last Will and Testament by an estate planning attorney but is a separate document. It merely provides a person with the ability to determine in advance what type of medical care (in terms of life support) he or she wants should they become incapacitated.
An estate planning attorney creates this document. They usually include this with a living trust. Estate planning attorneys include pour-over wills in your estate plan to ensure that all of your property and other items you own “pour-over” into the living trust when you pass away. This avoids or minimizes the the costs of probate. If you don’t have a pour-over will, any property not included in the living trust by you or your estate planning attorney falls subject to the Arizona Probate laws.
Why Do I Need One?
You need a will to ensure that your property is distributed according to your desires and not the State intestate laws. Further, if you have minor children, you can determine who cares for them in the event of your death instead of leaving that determination up to the government. If you want your money to go to charity, you can do that too.
How Do I Get One?
Probate Law Group can draft estate planning documents to enable you to have your wishes carried out at the time of your death. Once you have your Last Will and Testament, you would want to ensure that your executor has a copy so your desires can be carried out as written. Remember to only provide the relevant parts as needed. Those you have included as guardians do not need to know. That way, if you change your mind as your children grown, nobody’s feelings get hurt. We can talk more about these and other estate planning issues in our free consultation. Please call our office today at 480.535.8000 and schedule an appointment.