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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 ?
"Naresh (domestic help) agreed to donate his kidney willingly before 13-member committee," Sahu said.
"If people had decided to demolish the Taj Mahal instead of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, I would have willingly led them."
However, with typical lunacy and sheer ingratitude, the Home Office is apparently procrastinating about allowing brave Gurkhas, who have served this country loyally for decades and willingly given their lives on our behalf, to settle here.
Sir George Turner made much of the running but could only plug on at the same pace when first Art Antique and then Willingly came past in the closing stages.
An old African American woman willingly shares all she has and is repaid with a bag that provides for all her needs.
Known for twenty-odd years for his numerous writings on Marcel Duchamp, de Duve also willingly confesses his admiration for the criticism of Clement Greenberg, though that does not in any way restrict the spectrum of artists in whom he is interested.
The thought that anyone, Eskimo or otherwise, would willingly kill a member of an endangered species that may have been swimming when George Washington was still alive makes me sick at heart ("Cetacean seniors," SN: 10/14/00, p.
Besides, most actors of his generation willingly take on gay/bisexual roles.
He claims Miss Israel Linor had sex with him willingly, then lied about being raped to gain sympathy and win the Miss World contest.
She would be either stoned or shot, said council leader Tariq Khan.The sentence would be carried out regardless of whether she was kidnapped or went willingly with Mr Ahson, he said.
All freedom-loving Americans willingly and self-sacrificingly abandoned their civil pursuits until the glorious fight was won.
These result from legislative or contractual agreements entered into willingly by two or more parties, such as certain grants or private donations.