Experienced Mesa Wills Lawyer Helps You Plan Your Legacy
Well-drafted documents memorialize your intentions
A will is the traditional tool most often used to transfer assets upon the death of their owner to heirs and other beneficiaries. While many people balk at discussing the subject, because it brings up unpleasant, end-of-life thoughts, executing a will is a true act of love and helps will-makers influence how they will be remembered. For more than 20 years, the Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC has helped Arizonans draft valid wills that accurately memorialize their intentions, directing assets where they want them to go. As part of a comprehensive estate plan, your will helps ensure that your heirs receive their bequests in a timely manner, without losses due to delays in probate.
Proper planning reduces the chance that your will might face a challenge
Would-be heirs often challenge wills when they’re disappointed in the size of their bequests. Grounds they can use to challenge a will include:
- Defect in execution — Arizona law has specific requirements for the form of a will and the necessary elements it must include.
- Undue influence — If a person close to the testator uses pressure to shape the content of the will to that person’s benefit, the will is invalid.
- Lack of capacity — If the testator is not of sound mind, the will is not valid.
- Fraud — This charge alleges that someone fooled the testator and the will does not reflect the testator’s true intentions.
Too often the testator has provided the opportunity for a challenge through poor planning that gives the impression that something underhanded might have taken place. Examples include:
- Haste in drafting or amending — Wills drawn in advance, then reviewed and amended at regular intervals, carry a presumption of validity.
- Use of an attorney suspiciously close to a particular beneficiary — The attorney who drafts your will should appear to be your counsel, not the instrument of someone who stands to benefit from the will.
- Lack of transparency with intended beneficiaries — Testators often have good reasons for keeping bequests a secret, but it’s usually prudent to offer an explanation for bequests that contradict an heir’s expectations. If the testator does not make a statement, personally or as part of the will, the disappointed heir may suspect undue influence from another beneficiary.
A will challenge can tie up your estate in probate, causing your heirs to wait needlessly and endure added expenses. An estate planning lawyer should exercise great caution in the drafting and execution of your will to ensure that it is ironclad and can survive any challenge.
Contact a meticulous attorney for wills in Mesa, Arizona
You can trust the Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC to draft a will that reflects your intentions and passes the scrutiny of the Arizona probate court. Call 480-500-1866 or contact us online. We provide free telephone consultations, and Saturday and evening appointments are available. We speak Spanish fluently.