What is the Purpose of a Will?
By creating a Will, you can legally declare where your belongings will end up upon your death. In your Will you can list a representative to administer your estate and wishes after death. However, if you do not specify a representative, one will be appointed by the state. For those who do not create a Will, the fate of your property and/or the care of your children will be the decision of the state according to its “intestacy” laws. In most cases, your property will be given to your spouse and children, or other closest relatives. If the court cannot locate an individual on your list of close relatives, the state will take ownership of your property.

Creating a Will
Most people can create a Will on their own without legal assistance; any adult with a sound mind has the right to create his or her own Will. However, there are many reasons why it is beneficial not to write your own Will. One reason why legal assistance is helpful in creating a Will is that it ensures that the wording of the document is precise and the directions will be clear during the court proceedings. If there is confusion in the court during probate, it causes more time, effort and money to be spent. Precise language in the Will makes certain that your relatives receive exactly what they are entitled to. Seeking legal assistance with your Will also provides you with information about what property automatically transfer and what property must be listed in the Will. For example, a joint bank account will automatically transfer regardless of the existence of a Will. Also, with a lawyer, you can be sure that you are receiving reliable and correct directions, unlike guides to creating a Will that can be found in other sources.

In order to make sure that your Will is legal, it needs to be signed and dated with at least two witnesses. In the state of Arizona, the Will does not have to be notarized; however, the two witnesses must sign an affidavit and be present while the Will is signed even if they do not read the Will. You have the option of making your Will “self-improving,” in which case you will need to have it notarized. With the “self-improving” Will, the court will be able to accept its terms without having to contact the witnesses. Therefore, selecting the “self-improving” Will can speed up the court processes.

Once you are satisfied with your Will, it is important to protect this important document. While it is possible to file your Will with a number of states, it can simply be stored in a secure location such as your personal safe. Make sure that the Will is in a location where it is accessible to the person in charge after death.

How to Revoke a Will
It is very common for people to create more than one Will in their lifetime. The best way to get rid of an existing Will is to create a new Will to replace it; simply destroying the original Will may not be sufficient as there may be other copies. While many courts are apprehensive about accepting copies of the original Will, there may be cases in which surviving family members may provide evidence that the copy should be accepted. The new and revised Will should specifically revoke the old will. Finally, you must destroy the old Will and all of its copies.

More Information
Need more information on wills? Follow the link below to a great resource site that will help you undertand more of the details surrounding wills.

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