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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 periodicals archive ?
Yet in our wilfulness, 0 God, we have defied you and desecrated your good creation.
By the end of the century, Aalto, having been attacked by the generation of '68 for wilfulness and folksiness, was rehabilitated as 'a critical humanist' by some of the very people who had derided him in the first place.
All suffering and pain would be a thing of the past, though I for one know that I shall also see how my wilfulness caused pain in the heart of God, who, in spite of all, never ceased to love me, as He does every human being.
The evidence of wilfulness, maliciousness and fraud is overwhelming, " Carter wrote.
A person may be purposely, knowingly, or negligently indifferent about compliance with the Act, but the degree of wilfulness among the three standards is substantial.
The young woman who launched a thousand subpoenas, triggered a White House crisis and shut down Washington for a year was born into privilege, coddled in wilfulness, yearned for peer acceptance and searched for love in all the wrong places.