Yes, you can; holographic (handwritten) wills are honored in Arizona, provided they are clearly written and signed. However, such wills are more at risk to being contested by family members and may require verification that the handwriting is authentic. Moreover, misconceptions about a will’s powers could lead to requests being placed in the document that can’t be carried out, such as end-of-life care or naming beneficiaries for insurance policies or pensions. Even funeral instructions may not be heeded if the will isn’t found until after those decisions have already been made. Even more problematic, family members might not realize you have a will, or may not know where to look; a will is no good if no one knows about it.

By consulting a lawyer, you can ensure everything in your will is legally enforceable. Your attorney will also be able to make sure your wishes are followed, and can help testify to the document’s legitimacy. Furthermore, you can provide instructions for additional aspects of your estate using other avenues, like trusts or power of attorney documents. Your loved ones can also avoid having to pay some taxes by employing other planning strategies.