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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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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).
The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
We have problems but at least we don't have a large number of wilfully stupid people
On March 30, 2017, while serving as an acting police officer employed by Northumbria Police, he wilfully misconducted himself, without reasonable excuse of justification, namely by repeatedly telephoning [a woman] and harassing her.
The 26-year-old denied charges of wilfully injuring a badger, taking part in an animal fight and being present at the scene.
The NAB has decided to take to task all the big fishes who deviously and wilfully defaulted electricity bills.
It is alleged between those dates Hardie, 30, wilfully ill-treated, neglected, abandoned and exposed the boy to unnecessary suffering and left him without adult supervision.
Robert Coen, 23, of Tile Hill Lane, Tile Hill, admitted wilfully obstructing a police officer and driving with the wrong licence and no insurance.
Jones pleaded guilty to nine charges of wilfully neglecting nine patients "lacking capacity" at the Welsh hospital between February 2012 and February 2013.
- knowingly and wilfully interfering with the administration of justice by failing to remove from Al Jadeed TV's website and Al Jadeed TV's YouTube channel information on purported confidential witnesses.
and Karma Mohamed Tahsin Al-Khayat are charged with knowingly and wilfully interfering with the administration of justice by broadcasting and or publishing information on purported confidential witnesses.
Subrata Roy "wilfully submitted himself" to police in Lucknow, capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state where the group has its headquarters, Sahara's executive director told a New Delhi news conference.
Bhutto in the United States, when she received a threatening phone call from him( Pervez Musharraf) as untrue and wilfully fabricated
Joe Nocera, who has been a columnist at the NYT since 2005, also accused Thompson of being wilfully ignorant about the Savile sexual abuse scandal.