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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 ?
The scandal began on March 9, 2004 when UCLA suspended its willed body program after Henry Reid, the program director, was arrested on suspicion of grant theft.
Clifford, a weak - willed aesthete, has been destroyed by the thirty-year sentence.
UCLA's willed body program, the oldest in the country, had been receiving about 175 donated bodies every year and had a waiting list of more than 11,000 individuals willing to donate before the program was suspended on March 9, 2004 following allegations 2 employees had engaged in selling body parts from cadavers that had been donated to the school of medicine.
Was the potential for freely willed choice present or not?
The reason for this prohibition is that contraception breaks the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning of the conjugal act.
The preliminary injunction would remain in place until a settlement or verdict is reached on a lawsuit filed in behalf of the families of individuals who donated the bodies of loved ones to the university's willed body program.
In direct contrast, Hannah Wilke's "performalist" works are willed and strategic self-exposures.
He willed his ranch to Los Angeles County to be used as a county park.
Many no longer believe that what is at issue is a reality willed by the Lord himself.
The University of Southern California, Los Angeles (UCLA) suspended its Willed Body Program on March 9 following allegations two employees had engaged in selling body parts from cadavers that had been donated to its school of medicine.
With his innate understanding of the rough, suggestive poetry of collage and his powerfully raw brand of figuration, Person unselfconsciously demonstrated a level of authenticity that has been the holy grail of mainstream twentieth-century artists who tried repeatedly--and in vain--to effect a willed forgetting of the dictates of Western culture.
Brand willed his 5,000-square-foot mansion to the city, and in 1956 Glendale used the space to open an art and music library.