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When Do I Need a New Will?

Categories: Estate Planning, Article

Reasons why you need a will

You may think you don't need a will because you don't have many assets. However, if you don't have a will, the state could determine who gets your property and even who will take care of your children should both you and your spouse die at the same time. Many changes and events occur during your lifetime and if you have experienced any of the following life events recently, it is a good time to prepare a will or review your estate plan.

Life Events That Warrant a Review of your Will

You just had a new baby. If you have minor children and you don't have a will in place that names a guardian for any minor children, the state could decide who would care for them should you and your spouse die at the same time. Selecting an appropriate guardian for your children in the event of your death could be one of the most important life decisions you make.

You just got divorced. Having a will that states your wishes will alleviate stress from your survivors. In addition, if you and your former spouse had a will together then it is advisable to have a new one prepared.

You just got remarried. If you were to remarry or adopt your new spouse's child, you should consider preparing a new will or updating your existing will. Reviewing the terms of an existing will with a professional can help eliminate any conflicts upon your death and to ensure that your property is distributed the way you intended.

No Will = Big Problems

In the event you do not have a will, intestate succession under Arizona law generally is:

  • Surviving children, if none, then to:
  • Your parents, if none, then to:
  • Your brothers or sisters, or if they are not living, then to:
  • Your nieces or nephews…and so on.

Eventually, it may end up as the state's property if you do not have heirs.

Remember, without a will you do not direct or determine how your property is distributed upon your death.  You also won't determine who is guardian of your minor children if you are your spouse die simultaneously.  These are compelling reasons to prepare your will.

This article is not intended to provide legal advice and only relates to Arizona law.  It does not consider the scope of laws in states other than Arizona.  Always consult an attorney for legal advice for your particular situation.


Founded in 1984, Jaburg & Wilk offers extensive experience, diversity in practice areas and the ability to think like a business owner. We are an Arizona mid-sized AV rated law firm, the highest rating that a law firm can receive. Our attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff meet our clients' diverse legal needs and provide exceptional service through our 21 Fundamentals which comprise The JW Way.