Will

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Will'

A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wishes his or her property to be distributed after death. In a will, a person can also recommend a guardian for his or her children.

Also known as a "will and testament".

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Will'

Making a will is a very important component of estate planning. In it you declare who gets your belongings and assets when you die. If you do not have a will, the distribution of your property is left up to the government, and may even end up becoming state property. A will helps ensure that your wishes are carried out, and it can make things simpler and easier for your heirs.

RELATED TERMS
  1. IRA Asset Will

    A document that specifies how the assets in an individual retirement ...
  2. Executrix

    A female individual who is responsible for executing the provisions ...
  3. Last Will And Testament

    A legal document that communicates a person's final wishes, as ...
  4. Living Trust

    A property interest created during a person's life that allows ...
  5. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  6. Heir

    HeirA person who inherits some or all of the estate of another ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What should I consider when I select an executor for my will?

    The executor of a will is the person designated with the task of administering the will's instructions. The responsibilities ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Distribution Rules For Inherited Retirement Plan Assets

    If you've recently inherited a retirement plan, you must get to know the rules for distributing the funds.
  2. Retirement

    What Is A Will And Why Do I Need One?

    Putting this document together will save your family time and money, and give you peace of mind.
  3. Retirement

    6 Ways To Lose Your Estate

    Find out why you shouldn't put off putting your affairs in order.
  4. Home & Auto

    Nonfreehold Estates In Real Property

    If you have an interest in real estate, read on to find out which type of property you have.
  5. Retirement

    7 Reasons To Review Or Revise Your Will

    Drafting a will and locking it away for good could negatively affect your beneficiaries.
  6. Retirement

    6 Estate Planning Must-Haves

    You need an estate plan even if you don't have significant assets. Learn what you need to include in yours.
  7. Options & Futures

    Getting Started On Your Estate Plan

    With some preparation, you can save your heirs from paying a hefty estate tax. Here are some tips.
  8. Options & Futures

    An Estate Planning Must: Update Your Beneficiaries

    Life changes make it time to rewrite your plan's designations.
  9. Options & Futures

    Your Will: Why You Need A Power Of Attorney And Beneficiaries

    What would happen if you were suddenly unable to manage your financial affairs? Preparation is the best protection.
  10. Retirement

    Skipping-Out on Probate Costs

    Don't let bad estate planning lead to unnecessary costs and stress for your inheritors.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  2. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
  3. Hurdle Rate

    The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, ...
  4. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value is also commonly used to refer to the market capitalization ...
  5. Preference Shares

    Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before common stock dividends are paid out. In the event of a ...
  6. Accrued Interest

    1. A term used to describe an accrual accounting method when interest that is either payable or receivable has been recognized, ...
Trading Center