A legal declaration that disposes of a person's property when that person dies.

Source: U.S. Courts

If a person dies without a valid Will, Arizona law determines who inherits the estate. If a person dies with a Will, the Will usually determines who gets the property of the person who died. A Will can also be used to say who should take care of children under the age of 18, or someone who is disabled. The requirements for a Will are very technical. A Will written in another state, that is valid in that state, is usually valid in Arizona. A Will that is written in the handwriting of the person making the Will is valid in Arizona if it is in the handwriting of the person who died and was signed and dated by the person before death. Once a Will is written, the original should be kept in a safe place so it can be found when the person who wrote the Will dies. A Will does NOT need to be recorded with the County Recorder. The Court does not accept Wills for safekeeping until the person dies. The Court only accepts a Will if a probate in court is required.

Source: Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

A legal paper that lists a person's wishes about what will happen to his or her personal property after death.

Source: California Courts.