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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 ?
This is the state of the affairs of the arif (gnostic), even without sleep: God said, (Thou wouldst deem them awake) whilst they slept.
When her friend emphatically responded that she would not, Angelina told her, then "thou hast no right to enslave a negroe for the Master expressly says 'do unto others as thou wouldst they should do unto thee'.
Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it.
Thou strok'st me and made much of me, wouldst give me Water with berries in't, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night; and then I loved thee, And showed thee all the qualities o'th isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile.
In Romeo and Juliet, the character Tybalt asks: "What wouldst thou have with me?
Now who art thou, that on the bench wouldst sit In judgment at a thousand miles away, With the short vision of a single span?
Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame (II v 4-5)
IF THOU COULDST KNOW I think if thou couldst know, Oh soul that will complain, What lies concealed below Our burden and our pain; How just our anguish brings Nearer those longed-for things We seek for now in vain,-- I think thou wouldst rejoice, and not complain.
293-97: [Hermes says to Odysseus]: When Circe shall smite thee with her long wand, then do thou draw thy sharp sword from beside thy thigh, and rush upon Circe, as though thou wouldst slay her.
Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.
If any handsome woman comes to seek justice of thee, turn away thine eyes from her tears and thine ears from her lamentations, and consider deliberately the merits of her demand, if thou wouldst not have thy reason swept away by her weeping, and thy rectitude by her sighs).
The poet Lord Byron wrote of Louis XVIII's return to France to assume the throne in 1814: 'Why wouldst thou leave calm Hartwell's green abode?