Wills in Mesa, Arizona

There are many reasons why a person may choose to create a will, such as for financial or tax purposes. In some cases, a person may simply want to prepare their estate to be passed onto the person or persons of their choosing. Estate planning is a useful tool that can protect your property and assets. There are many aspects involved in estate planning, such as choosing the proper tools to legally and financially protect and distribute assets.

What Is a Will?

Arizona is considered a “community property” state, meaning all assets and property (with the exception of gifts or inheritance received by either spouse throughout the extent of the marriage) belong equally to both parties. However, legally transferring property or assets from one spouse to another following the death of one spouse can be extremely difficult and time-consuming if an estate plan is not in place.

A last will and testament is a common and effective tool used in estate planning for the legal transfer of assets and property after a death. A will offers greater control and security over your assets, as well as acknowledges your final wishes.

What Is the Role of Wills in Arizona?

In Arizona, a will can do the following:

  • Name an executor or personal representative
  • Name a guardian (in the case of minor children)
  • Decide how an estate is to be distributed
  • Minimize estate taxes
  • Avoid lengthy probate
  • Protect a person’s assets and property

What Is the Role of an Executor?

A last will and testament designates a predetermined individual to serve as a personal representative or “executor.” There is only one requirement to be an executor and that is that the person must be a legally competent adult. This could be a family member, friend, or even the attorney who is assisting in the estate planning process.

After a death, the decedent no longer controls or owns any of the property. In order for property to be transferred to living beneficiaries, an executor must be named. Arizona law refers to executors as individuals who are in charge of managing the affairs of a deceased person’s estate. The executor is typically responsible for reading the will and distributing assets and property to named beneficiaries.

How Can I Avoid Probate Court?

Going through probate court can be a costly process. Arizona law requires families to go through probate court for the legal dispersion of a deceased person’s estate unless the person has a valid will in place. When there is a will in place, the process of transferring property and assets to the named beneficiaries on the will becomes much easier.

What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

If a person dies without a last will and testament, their property and assets will typically be distributed by the state. Arizona follows a legal formula that is a one-size-fits-all approach that not all beneficiaries may agree with. If you pass away without a will, your final wishes may not be carried out in the manner in which you would have hoped. Your family may also be burdened with the complex process of disturbing your property based on requirements set out by the court.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Write a Will?

Although it is possible to find estate planning documents online, these documents take on a one-size-fits-all approach that may not be specific enough for your needs. In addition, they may not fully protect your property and assets. Arizona does not legally require a person to hire an attorney to create a will; however, having an experienced Mesa estate planning attorney involved in the process can be highly advantageous.

To learn more about creating a will or to speak with a Mesa estate planning attorney, contact David Weed at 480-573-6909 to schedule a consultation.

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