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A document stating how and to whom a person wants his/her property transferred after death. In addition to transferring property, a will may specify how certain responsibilities are to be performed. For example, a will may state who shall take care of the decedent's minor children, how they are to be educated, and so forth. A court must enforce the provisions of a will unless there is some overriding legal reason for it not to do so. Many advisers recommend writing a will to ensure that the writer's wishes are carried out.


A will is a legal document you use to transfer assets you have accumulated during your lifetime to the people and institutions you want to have them after your death.

The will also names an executor -- the person or people who will carry out your wishes.

You can leave your assets directly to your heirs, or you can use your will to establish one or more trusts to receive the assets and distribute them at some point in the future.

The danger of dying without a will is that a court in the state where you live will decide what happens to your assets. Its decision may not be what you would have chosen, and its deliberations can be costly and delay settling your estate.


An instrument by which a person directs the disposition of assets after death.At one time the term will referred to disposition of real property, and a testament was a disposition of personal property,hence the expression “last will and testament.”Today,will covers all properties. See also holographic will (handwritten), nuncupative will (oral), intestate succession (dying without a will), and escheat (dying with no will and no heirs).
References in classic literature ?
He'll be as much to me as he has been all his lifetime.
You'll have a row with him and the children presently, and he'll eat you up.
Some day, dad sez, he'll remember his wife an' kids an' Johnstown, an' then, like's not, he'll die, dad sez.
If he doesn't strike pay-dirt he'll have to buy a steamer-passage to get away from the Solomons.
He'll let nineteen go by without batting an eye, and mebbe the twentieth, just because he's feeling frisky,
I suppose you think he'll last for ever, like so much land'," Del Mar smiled quietly.
He t'inks he kin scrap, but he'll fin' out diff'ent.
I think he'll be all right, but you'll have to be careful how you feed him for a few days.
He sure can, and he'll worry Ward a mighty heap on top of it.
We expect next week he'll be able to leave off his stick entirely.
Riah is a tough subject, and when he says he'll do a thing, he'll do it.
If I tell him, he'll lie before you an' watch you, as still,--just as he watches my pack.