This blog has covered the need for business owners to have an estate plan in place. Many people might not realize that the will has to meet specific requirements if it is going to be considered valid under Arizona law. There are many factors that business owners need to think about since the will can impact the company and their family members.
One thing that you can't do is provide will instructions orally. There are no provisions in state law that enable the courts to recognize a spoken will. If you provide any instructions or information to the people will be taking over your company when you pass away, make a note to update your will with those.
You must ensure that you have two people sign your will as witnesses. They don't have to see you sign it, and they don't have to be there together to sign. Instead, they have to sign the document with your acknowledgement that you signed the will. Typically, you should choose witnesses who are not beneficiaries of your estate.
In a pinch, you might choose to write out a will by hand. If you do this, it must be solely in your own handwriting. There is a chance that areas of the will that aren't in your handwriting might be considered invalid. If you handwrite your will, you don't need to have any witnesses.
Remember that the will is only one component of an estate plan. Putting it together with other components, such as the succession plan, trusts, and power of attorney designations, can ensure that your wishes are followed after you're gone.