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 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. Retirement

    Skipping-Out on Probate Costs

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

    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 of an executor include making sure all assets are accounted for, all ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Weather Insurance

    A type of protection against a financial loss that may be incurred because of rain, snow, storms, wind, fog, undesirable ...
  2. Portfolio Turnover

    A measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Portfolio turnover is calculated by ...
  3. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  4. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  5. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
  6. Break-Even Analysis

    An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even ...
Trading Center