Are you an Arizona resident looking to create a Will? Thanks to technology and the modernization of relevant laws, you have the convenient option of creating your Will and other estate planning documents online. Convenience and affordability are two key factors that make estate planning more accessible, thus helping more individuals achieve peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are protected. Creating your Will allows you to take control over making sure important matters aren’t left up to chance.
The overall process of creating Wills is similar from state to state, but the specific requirements often vary. This is because the laws that govern estate plans and Wills are created by state governments instead of the federal government. If you plan to make an online Will in Arizona, then you must take care to satisfy the requirements set forth by Arizona statutes in order for your Will to be valid. This guide will provide an overview of what you need to know about making a Will online in the Grand Canyon State.
What You Need to Know About Making a Will Online in Arizona
The process of creating a valid Will in Arizona is determined by state statutes. The laws regarding the execution of a Will can be found in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 14 - Trusts, Estates, and Protective Proceedings §§ 14-2501 - 14-2523.
An online Will is recognized by Arizonian probate courts so long as the above-cited legal requirements are satisfied. Trust & Will breaks down these legal requirements over the next several sections by answering some frequently asked questions on the topic.
How Much Does a Will Cost in Arizona?
On average, you can expect to spend roughly $200 to $1,000 on a Will in Arizona. These are estimates that vary depending on three factors: method of execution, attorney fees, and complexity of the estate.
For example, an individual with a particularly robust or complex estate plan with special provisions may hire one of the most experienced estate planning attorneys in the state. This person’s estate planning costs will likely be in the higher range. The cost may even rise to several thousand dollars if they wish to establish a Trust.
However, most individuals have a relatively simple estate with straightforward objectives. Trust & Will’s online estate planning platform provides Arizona residents with an affordable alternative. You can create your state-specific online Will through our platform at a fraction of the cost.
Are Online Wills Valid in Arizona?
Yes, both online Wills and eWills are legal in Arizona.
In 2018, Arizona became the third U.S. state to recognize electronic Wills. The state probate code was revised to include the requirements and interpretation for an electronic Will. You can read more about this historic news in our guide on Arizona eWills here.
This means that not only can residents of the Grand Canyon State create their Wills online, they may also witness, execute, and notarize their Wills electronically. Prior to this revision to the estate planning statutes, a Will could be created online but still had to be printed on paper, signed, and witnessed physically. Today, an eWill can remain in its digital format from end to end, never having to be reduced to paper.
With this exciting news in mind, here are the legal requirements for making an online Will:
You must be at least 18 years old
You must be of sound mind
The Will must be created freely and voluntarily
You must sign the Will in the physical presence of two witnesses
For electronic or digital-only Wills, the above legal requirements remain unchanged. To make a valid eWill in Arizona, these additional requirements must be followed:
Must be created and maintained as a digital record (paper version is not valid)
Must be provided to a qualified custodian for storage
Must contain the electronic signatures of the Testator and their two witnesses
Must contain the date that the Testator and witnesses each digitally signed the Will
A qualified custodian is someone who is a resident of and domiciled in Arizona. They can also be an incorporated business. The custodian maintains an electronic records system to store eWills and the recording of the notarization session.
Can I Make My Own Will in Arizona?
Yes, you can write your own Will in Arizona. The Arizona Revised Statutes § 14-2503 state that a holographic Will is valid, whether or not it is witnessed, as long as the signature and the “material provisions” are in the Testator’s handwriting.
However, writing your Will on your own may leave you vulnerable to errors and pitfalls that could render your wishes legally unenforceable. Instead, we highly recommend obtaining professional estate planning support. Some individuals choose not to work with an attorney for specific reasons, such as wanting to keep their private information to themselves, or finding attorney fees cost-prohibitive.
Whatever the reason may be, an alternative solution to consider is creating a Will using a trustworthy platform. For example, Trust & Will’s estate planning platform offers state-specific estate plans so you can have peace of mind knowing that your Will is compliant in Arizona and will achieve your desired outcomes. We also offer bank-level security to protect your private information.
What is Required for a Will to Be Valid in Arizona?
The following outlines the legal requirements for a valid online Will in Arizona:
The Will must be in writing.
The Testator (the person writing the Will) must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind.
The Will must be signed by the Testator.
Must be signed by two competent witnesses who are in the Testator’s physical presence.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Will in Arizona?
No, you do not need a lawyer to make a Will in Arizona. Generally speaking, Grand Canyon State laws do not require you to hire a lawyer to create or execute a valid Will. However, you may want to consult an estate planning professional for advice if you have a large estate or special conditions that you wish to meet.
Otherwise, making your Will online is a reliable and convenient option. This is especially so when your wishes are straightforward and your estate is relatively simple. Trust & Will’s online estate planning platform will guide you through the process of creating and executing a Will that is compliant in your state.
How Do I Sign an Online Will in Arizona?
Here are the steps to follow for signing and finalizing your online Will in Arizona:
Print out your Will unless it is electronic
Sign your Will in the physical presence of two witnesses (can be an electronic signature)
Have your two witnesses sign the Will in your presence
Optional: Attach a notarized affidavit to make your Will self-proving
Once you complete the steps above, you will have a legal and valid Will in Arizona.
Do Wills in Arizona Need to be Notarized?
No, a Will does not need to be notarized in Arizona. While it is optional, it’s an encouraged step to make your Will “self-proving.”
During the notarization (online or physical), you and your witnesses will confirm your identities and make sworn statements. An affidavit is signed, notarized, and attached to the Will. This process proves that the notary knows who you are and confirms that each person was aware that they were signing the Will.
If the Will is self-proving, then the probate court won’t have to call upon the witnesses to testify regarding the Will’s validity. This can help minimize potential issues and allow the probate process to proceed more quickly.
Now that Arizona has enabled the recognition of both eWills and remote online notarization, getting your Will notarized is even easier. Trust & Will has partnered with Notarize, a trusted online notary service to allow for the seamless notarization of eWills online.
Who Can Witness a Will in Arizona?
Any generally competent adult can witness a Will in Arizona. This typically describes an adult over the age of 18 who is also sound of mind. For a Will made after October 2019, neither of your witnesses can be a beneficiary or relative of a beneficiary named in the Will (by blood, marriage, or adoption.) That is, unless the Will is self-proved.
Regardless of the rules, any Testator should be careful not to select a beneficiary (interested party) as a witness. This is because of potential conflicts of interest that could lead to future challenges or claims against the validity of the Will, which can further delay the probate process, or worse, invalidate your Will. It is generally advised to select a disinterested party as a witness, even if your state’s regulations don’t expressly forbid it.
How to Create Arizona Last Will and Testament Online
Arizona now recognizes eWills, making the online Will creation process even more seamless. Once you create your Will, you no longer have to print it out if you wish to maintain an electronic or digital format. This will provide a much more convenient and affordable alternative to estate planning the traditional way.
With this in mind, here is an overview of the steps of creating an online Will in Arizona:
Select a trusted online estate planning platform, service, or template.
Draft your Will
Review and finalize your Will
Sign the Will (electronic signature allowed) in the presence of two witnesses (must be physical)
Obtain signatures from your witnesses
Get your Will notarized if you want it to be self-proving (electronic/remote allowed)
Store your Will in a secure storage space online, such as a digital vault*
Review and revise your Will regularly
*For eWills, Arizona statutes require that you provide your electronic record and notary session recording to a qualified custodian.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Arizona?
Here are some ideas on what can be included in your online Will:
An inventory of your property and assets
A list of your Beneficiaries
Gifts made to specific individuals or organizations
Your nominated Executor who should handle your estate
A Guardian for any minor or dependent children (or pets)
A named individual to manage property for dependent children
Last wishes regarding your remains, funeral, burial, cremation, etc.
Any final instructions or notes for loved ones
The contents of a Last Will and Testament vary widely based on an individual’s personal circumstances, as well as the objectives they wish to achieve. Must estate planning platforms such as Trust & Will will guide you through a series of questions and prompts to help create a Will customized to your unique needs.
Create Your Online Will in Arizona Today
Arizona is one of the first U.S. states to allow its residents to create both online Wills and electronic Wills. Online Wills are Wills that are created online, but are eventually printed on paper for signing and witnessing. Electronic Wills remain in digital format from start to finish, and are never reduced to paper. They utilize audio-visual conferencing tools and electronic signatures.
Regardless of the method you choose, one thing remains unchanged. The key to successfully creating an online Will in Arizona is making sure that you satisfy state-specific requirements. Creating your Will online, no matter your location, is a convenient and affordable alternative to working with an estate planning attorney. This guide provided an overview of the online Will requirements in the Grand Canyon State that you should be aware of.
At Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement options today!
Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.