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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 ?
Delighted with the gift, the speaker is reprimanded by the Son, who informs him, "'Thou wouldst not find it hard to guess / What hell may be his punishment / For those who doubt if God invent / Better than they'" (707-10).
In King Lear, the Fool uses both of these meanings to warn the king (who has acted the fool in giving away his power) and to distract him after he has been humiliated by Goneril, saying to him, half playfully, half sadly, "Thou wouldst make a good Fool" (1.
Pittacus of Mytilene (one of the seven wise men of Greece), 620 years before Christ, stated: "Do not that to thy neighbour that thou wouldst not suffer from him":
XVI: 94) They swear their strongest oaths by Allah that, if only thou wouldst command them, they would leave their homes.
XVI: 94) "They swear their strongest oaths by Allah that, if only thou wouldst command them, they would leave their homes.
What wouldst thou beg, Laertes, That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
Lie downe with shame, and see thou stirre no more, Seeing now thou wouldst deceive me as before.
The other said: "If then thou wouldst follow me, ask me no questions about anything until I myself speak to thee concerning it.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me / Thy
thou wouldst not suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Iokanann.
Get thee to a nunn'ry, why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?