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Does a piece of paper from a person with 3 witnesses similar to a living will but not notorized legal?

Sun City, AZ |

my domestic partner wrote out a specific letter stating who he wanted in charge of his possessions 5 days before he suffered a severe stroke it was not notorized but It had his signature and 2 other witnesses signatures on it . would this serve to be legal and override the daughter assuming power of attorney without his signature? he was unable to speak or write and was in induced coma when daughter claimed power of attorney he has passed away and person in possession of letter has now stepped forward he didn't think it would over ride the daughter claiming power of attorney even though it was not his wish for her to have it.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Power of Attorney ceases to have any effect at the time of death. It would seem that the letter would serve as a Will, but I would suggest that you contact a probate attorney to make sure. It is possible that the daughter may try to object.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. You are going to need an attorney to review and then do the legal research needed.


  3. I agree with Attorneys Frederick and Breitmeyer. A power of attorney would not be of any help since the document is no longer effective at the time of the signer's death. However, it is possible that the document could be construed to be a will, depending on your state's law. Please consult with an experienced estate attorney. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


  4. Arizona recognizes the "holographic will" which only requires that the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator. However, you definitely should speak with a probate attorney since it sounds that your acting as the executor will likely be challenged by the daughter particularly if there is a large estate at risk. Also, a lawyer can also help you determine what extrinsic evidence you have to demonstrate your partner's wishes.


  5. Powers of Attorney are effective during a person's life. They help enable a person to designate someone else to make decisions for them if they become unable to do so. These might be financial or healthcare decisions, depending on the document. The requirements for a valid power of attorney are found in Arizona Revised Statutes 14-5501. A last will and testament, on the other hand, enables a person to designate who will receive their assets upon death. Under Arizona Revised Statutes 14-2502 and 14-2503, a valid will need not be notarized.

    I would recommend consulting with an attorney to assist you further with this matter.

    This information is intended to be informational only and does not establish an attorney/client relationship, nor is it meant to be legal advice for a specific matter. The information disclosed may not be kept confidential and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

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