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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 ?
The new willed body facility will also include video cameras which allow the campus Police Department and the program to track donated bodies from the time they arrive at the loading dock, the Times said.
Finally, in King John the question of whether Elizabeth had the right to "will" her crown to a successor is implicated in the contending royal claims of John (willed the throne by Richard I) and Arthur (who claimed the throne by primogeniture).
And when life cruelly cut him down at age 53, he was buried exactly where he had willed it--a few hundred yards up the road from the high school field on which he had learned the game.
Old approaches focus on punishing the weak willed. This follows the antiquated behaviorist principle that negative reinforcement extinguishes bad behavior.
Any monies willed to a tax-exempt charity reduce the amount of your estate (which over $600,000 is subject to a heavy federal, and usually state, tax).
Finally for Christmas I got six, three red, three white, all-in-a-row to drive where I willed on the balcony, but soon I forgot them and next Noel gave them away to a real child .
Iron - willed, grasping Colonel Pyncheon obtained the desirable land on which he built the pretentious House of the Seven Gables by accusing its humble owner, one Matthew Maule, of witchcraft.
Brain activity of that length is probably sparked by a willed intention, says Jung.
Fajardo showed why he's the most dominant player in the league today as he willed San Miguel Beer past Magnolia to a historic fifth straight All-Filipino title on Wednesday night after a 72-71 Game 7 squeaker.
Bernard of Clairvaux, he observes that relatively few people make a serious effort to give up deliberately willed venial sins and even fewer grow into heroic virtue and live as saints.
You willed me to succeed sometimes even in my lowest moments.
Sir Algernon remarks about Wilde's most unusual name, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde and records that at university and later, Wilde's surname was pronounced Willed - (Will'd).