A Last Will and Testament (or Will) is usually an important first step in any estate plan. A Will is a writing that specifies your beneficiaries and your personal representative. Your beneficiaries are the ones you want to receive your assets at death, and your personal representative is the one you want to be responsible for distributing those assets. A Will may also designate a guardian – someone to take legal custody of your minor child or children.
A person who dies without a Will is said to die “intestate.” This means that person’s property will be distributed to certain heirs according to set guidelines called intestacy laws. So having a Will can be a great way to have your wishes carried out.
As you can see, a well thought out and properly executed Will can be a powerful document. It is important to note that while a Will helps to carry out your wishes after you are gone, it does not help to avoid probate, especially if your estate (property including home, car, and private property/items) in Arizona is valued at more than $75,000 at the time your death. In order to avoid probate, a Will usually needs to be used in tandem with other estate planning tools, such as account registration changes, beneficiary designations, real estate deeds, and trusts.
To learn more about Wills, please contact Seiter Law directly.