What Is a Will?
A will is a written document which directs how a person’s property should be disposed after their death.
A person who creates a will is called a testator.
What Are the Requirements for a Valid Will?
1) It must be made by someone who is eighteen years of age or older and who is of sound mind.
2) The testator must intend that the document be their will.
3) It must be in writing.
4) It must be signed by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other individual in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction.
5) It must be signed by at least two people, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after that person witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
There is an exception to the witness requirement: if the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator, it is a valid will whether or not it is witnessed. A will that is handwritten is called a holographic will.
What Happens to a Person’s Property if They Die Without a Valid Will?
If a person dies without a valid will, their property is disposed of according to Arizona’s default rules of intestate succession. Additionally, any property that is not disposed of in a valid will is also subject to intestate succession.