What Are the Different Types of Wills?
When it comes to writing a will in AZ, you have a few options to choose from. Keep reading to learn more about the main types of wills.
One of the most common reasons that people hire an estate planning lawyer is to help them with a will, or also know as a Last Will and Testament. This is especially important for people who are not familiar with all of the different types of wills. There are few times when the stakes are as high as when you are writing a will and want to make sure that everything is just right.
Arizona Wills don't avoid probate on its own but they are an important part of any estate planning strategy. Arizona Law is also very unique when the subject is will as a legal document.
So what are the different types of wills, and which one is right for you? Read on to learn all about the most important things to understand about the different kinds of wills out there!
A person doing a will needs to be considered of sound mind within a reasonable doubt. A Will must be signed by the testator in the testator's handwriting. For a Will to be self proving it needs to be signed by the testator in from of two witnesses and a notary. The testator needs to be 18 years of age.
Types of Will: The Simple Will in Arizona
Of course, there is no one best kind of will. Instead, each type of will exists for a reason. Each will comes with certain advantages, so figuring out which one is right for you requires you to understand the range of options available. It us always better to see a planning attorney though.
However, in most cases, people will end up writing a will called a simple will. As its name suggests, this is the simplest kind of will. As a result, it is also what most people imagine when they think of what a will is.
As you are no doubt familiar, a simple will outlines which people or organizations you want to inherit your assets in the event of your death. It also states who you want to manage the process of distributing your assets. It is important to find someone trustworthy to make sure that your will is executed the way that you want it to be.
Along with your assets, a simple will allows you to designate who you want to be the guardians of your children or pets. The document needs to be signed to be valid. This type of Will alone will not avoid probate.
Types of Wills: The Holographic Will in Arizona
A holographic will is another of the simplest types of wills you can choose. In fact, a holographic will is often handwritten. Although it is always helpful to have witnesses witness the creation and validation of a will, it is not an absolute necessity for a holographic will.
Some people create holographic wills only because they have no other choice. For example, someone might be in a life-threatening accident and have to do a will on their death bed.
However, as you can imagine, such a will can be harder to defend. A court may decide that it is not valid as it will be difficult to say the person was of sound mind. In fact, there are some states in the country that do not recognize holographic wills under any circumstance. Arizona do recognize holographic wills, they are valid here.
Types of Will: The Nuncupative Will in Arizona
The nuncupative will is another simple type of will that not every state will recognize. Some people also call these deathbed wills. They are not documents, because a nuncupative will is the spoken wishes of someone before they die.
Although they may be valid they will probably not stand up in court, they are less likely to do so than many other kinds of wills. We strong recommend you plan ahead to avoid having yourself in this situation.
Types of Will: The Living Will in Arizona
Unlike most wills, a living will does not determine how your assets will be distributed in the event of your death. In fact, it does not have anything to do with your actual death. Instead, it has to do with what happens in the event of failing health.
If you become unable to communicate due to health problems, a living will gives your agent the ability to make some health decisions in your behalf. A Living Will is usually done together with a Health Care Power of Attorney. A living will is more similar to a power of attorney than a Last Will and Testament. A Living Will doesn't address material provisions, it addresses your end of life wishes.
If you want to understand the difference between a Living Will and a Living Trust click here.
Types of Will: The Joint Will in Arizona
Joint wills get their name from the fact that they include the desires of two different people. The most common kind of joint will is for married couples. Each member of the marriage states that their property goes to the other in the event of their death.
One of the difficult things with joint wills is that they cannot be altered at any time. That means that the property that goes to the surviving spouse cannot be given to other people later on. We don't do Joint ones in Arizona.
Unless the joint will is specific to say that the surviving spouse can do otherwise, the surviving spouse will be the only one who is allowed to receive and possess the assets of their deceased partner.
Types of Wills: The Mirror Will in Arizona
Mirror wills are similar to joint wills. They get their name from the fact that they are symmetrical, or that they mirror each other. Marriage partners often sign them to state that the surviving spouse will receive the assets of the deceased spouse. We usually don't do Mirror ones in Arizona.
However, in this case, a mirror will consists of two separate documents. In other words, a mirror will is a technical term that refers to two different wills that refer to each other. Some people also call these reciprocal wills.
These wills allow the surviving spouse to exercise more control over the assets of the deceased spouse after their death.
Types of Will: The Testamentary Trust in Arizona
Many people create trusts for important financial or legal reasons while they are alive to manage their assets. However, a testamentary trust creates a trust only at the point of death.
Instead of leaving assets to people who you want to possess them, you can leave your assets in the control of a trust, which can then allow designated beneficiary or beneficiaries to benefit from them without possessing them. A Last Will and Testament can create a Testamentary Trust.
Some people use testamentary trusts to state that they want their children to receive their assets only once they have reached a certain age. Talking to a Will Attorney that also does Living Trusts is more appropriate. There are much better ways to have a similar strategy to achieve your goal than a testamentary trust. This time of strategy will not avoid probate necessarily and your family will still have to go through it.
Understand the Most Important Types of Wills
The better you understand the different types of wills, the better the chance you will choose the right kind for your situation. However, we strongly recommend the help of a wills and trust attorney to assess your current situation.
To learn more about different kinds of wills and how to know which one is right for you, reach out and get in touch with us! We will be pleased to help you and your family with an estate planning strategy that will help you avoid probate and minimize stress and costs at the time of your death.
Finding What the Best Will Attorney Chandler, AZ Has to Offer
Enjoying the maximum benefits of a will may require working with the best lawyer that Chandler has available. Call Citadel Law Firm today learn more about will vs trust rules and more. You can schedule your free estate planning consultation by calling (480) 565-8020. Or click on the button below to schedule.
If you want to understand the cost to create a Will read our blog article about it, click here.