In short, yes. A handwritten (or “holographic”) will can be considered valid in Arizona, but only if it meets certain criteria. If you are considering leaving behind a handwritten will, you are legally able to do so. However, before you write down your final wishes and stick them in a drawer, make sure you meet all the following parameters:
- You are 18 years old. According to ARS § 14-2501, you must a mentally sound adult of at least 18 years of age in order to create a last will and testament.
- Your will is in writing and has proper signatures. According to ARS § 14-2502, you must sign your own will or have another party (whom you appoint) sign it for you. Your will must also be signed by two other people who were present at the point you signed your will, acknowledging that your signature (or your appointed representative’s signature) and approval of the will are valid. The state of Arizona allows you to write out the entire will in your own handwriting, if you wish, as long as it is in your own handwriting and you specify that you intend to use that writing to divide and allocate your property at the time of your death.
- You have valid witnesses. You can’t recruit just anyone to be a witness to your last will and testament. In order for a witness to be considered legitimate in the eyes of the law, they must be a basically competent, legal adult in control of their mental faculties.
Writing out your own will could be a risky move if you do not take care to meet the legal requirements for an acceptable last will and testament. Even if you decide to leave behind a hand-written will, it is still in your best interest to get the opinion of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Get Help Creating a Holographic Will in Phoenix
At Taylor & Lihn, PLLC, we are familiar with all the ins, outs, stautues, and potential roadblocks associated with creating a last will and testament. Our Phoenix estate planning lawyers are here to help you create a rock-solid will and make sure your assets and property are divided as you wish.
Call us at (602) 900-9860 today or contact us to schedule your free evaluation.