Skilled Attorneys Advise on Creating a Will in Arizona
Experienced lawyers help you carry out your final wishes
It’s difficult to imagine what would befall your loved ones if you were no longer there to care for them. But in a way, that’s what a will allows you to do. A will takes considerable pressure off your next of kin, who are already grieving over your loss. Creating a will is an act of love that should not be put off. At Pennington Law — Estate Planning, PLLC, we will advise you on how to get it done effectively.
What should be included in my will?
Your last will and testament lets you distribute property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes regarding actions to be taken upon your death. A will is a means by which you can leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, friend or charity. Your will should:
- Identify all assets and liabilities in the estate
- Account for the handling of all assets in which you have ownership
- Name a trustworthy and capable executor
- Identify all beneficiaries precisely to avoid confusion with persons having similar names
If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pets, and the court’s decisions might not reflect your desires. A will can also be used to set up trusts for the care of minor children or family members with special needs or for the benefit of charities.
How do I change my will?
It’s a good idea to review your will with your estate planning attorney every three to five years and update the will to reflect changes in your circumstances and priorities. We draft codicils that address your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle.
Capable representation in will disputes
After a person dies, their will is submitted to the probate court, which examines the will to determine if it is valid. When interested parties learn the contents of a will, disputes may arise. Disappointed heirs and other interested parties can challenge a will based on several grounds, such as:
- Fraud — In this situation, it is alleged that someone fooled the testator into signing a will that did not reflect his or her intentions.
- Undue influence — Someone with special access to the testator might use emotional manipulation to convince him or her to execute or amend a will for their benefit.
- Coercion — A testator must execute a will voluntarily. If it is proved that someone exerted emotional pressure or physical force to compel execution of the will, a court will declare it void.
- Counterfeit — Someone may present a forged will to the court, claiming the testator executed it.
- Vagueness — If a will is confusing or open to numerous interpretations, a court may rule on what the language means or declare the disputed portion void. In such a case, known as partial intestacy, the court can enforce part of the will and allow the assets mentioned in the vague portions to pass to beneficiaries according to state laws of inheritance.
When will challenges arise, we use our proven courtroom skills to assert the rights of the testator and to protect the interests of the intended beneficiaries.
What is a living will?
Also known as an advance healthcare directive, a living will is a document that sets the parameters for medical attention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.
Contact our Surprise, AZ office today for a free will consultation
Pennington Law — Estate Planning, PLLC helps clients in Surprise, Sun City West, Buckeye and vicinity create clear and comprehensive wills. Call 623-208-7867 or contact our office online to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are also available.