Does A Will Need to Be Filed in Arizona?

Does A Will Need to Be Filed in Arizona?If you recently moved to the Grand Canyon State, you might be wondering: does a Will need to be filed in Arizona? Lucky for you, our legal team here at Dana and Associates LLC is here to help. As experienced Phoenix estate planning attorneys, we are ready to answer any and all of your questions about filing a Will in Arizona.

State laws regarding Wills, estates, and protective proceedings are outlined in Arizona’s Revised Statutes. If you aren’t up for reading lengthy and complex statutes (we don’t blame you), then stay tuned. In this blog post, we are covering everything you need to know about whether a Will needs to be filed in Arizona.

Basic Requirements for a Will in Arizona

You are not legally obligated to file a Will in Arizona. While most states allow you to file your Will with the probate court before you die, it is not required in Arizona. However, we highly recommend that you make sure your Will meets the state requirements of validity. This ensures that when your loved ones file your Last Will and Testament after your death, your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Furthermore, this helps your loved ones avoid a stressful probate process.

For your Will to be considered valid, you must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have testamentary intent (including instructions on what will happen to property left behind after death)
  • Have testamentary capacity (being considered competent under law)
  • Demonstrate undue influence (the Will must be written under your own free will)
  • Provide your signature

Furthermore, each state has its own additional requirements for the validity of Wills. In Arizona, your Will must be:

  • Written (either handwritten or typed)
  • Signed by the testator (the person making the Will)
  • If the entire Will is handwritten, Arizona law does not require witness signatures.
  • If your Will is typed or you want the extra security, then it needs to be signed by two witnesses.

 

Is Probate Required in Arizona?

Does A Will Need to Be Filed in Arizona? Probate is a complicated legal process that consists of the retitling and distributing of someone’s assets after they have passed away. If someone dies without a Will, it is left up to the Arizona Laws of Intestacy to determine the beneficiaries. Arizona is a community property state, which means that if someone dies without a Will, their surviving spouse will automatically inherit everything.

Wondering if probate is required in Arizona? The answer is yes, but with a few exceptions. Firstly, if the decedent has a valid trust or has listed beneficiaries for all assets, they can often circumvent the probate process.

Secondly, if the estate consists of personal property that is valued at less than $75,000 and real estate property of less than $100,000, then the family can submit an affidavit to the court documenting assets and a copy of the Will. Then, the process is complete.

Top Estate Planning Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ

So, does a Will need to be filed in Arizona? The short answer is no. However, if you want to have a say in the distribution of your assets after you have passed, then making sure you have a valid Will is essential. This allows for peace of mind in knowing that your loved ones will be cared for after you are no longer here.

At Dana and Associates LLC, our skilled estate planning attorneys help our clients in Arizona and California craft customized estate plans suited to their unique needs. If you’re ready to start preserving your legacy, contact our team today.