Wills and Living Wills


A will (also known as a testament or last will and testament) is a document used by a person to dictate the disposition of their property and assets at the time of their death.

Requirements for someone (known as the testator) to put together a will include:

  • The testator must clearly identify themselves
  • All other previously made wills and codicils (additions) must be clearly revoked
  • The document must demonstrate that the person has the right and desire to freely give away his or her property
  • The document must be signed, dated, and witnessed by two non-beneficiary witnesses at the end of the document

Though it is possible to prepare a will without a lawyer, it is not recommended. Estate law surrounding wills is quite specific, and any small error can void the entire will. Without professional legal advice and assistance, a will could contain an error making it invalid in the courts.

When it comes to planning for the future, consult with an attorney. Only then will you know your loved ones will be protected.

Living Will

A Living Will is a legal document which specifies how you wish to be treated in the event of a terminal illness or catastrophic injury. This usually deals with if a person wishes to be on life-support or have heroic efforts made on their behalf to save a life. It can also deal with topics such as organ donation.

As with all such important documents, a living will should be prepared in consultation with an experienced attorney who can ensure that your wishes are met.

Estate Law Term of the Day

Will Contest

Heirs may formally contest a will or raise objections about its validity if they believe the will does not reflect the intentions of the decedent or testator.

Category: Estate Law

Latest Estate Law Question

How long it takes to clear my spouses estate?

Unfortunately, there are many factors which can affect the timeframe for distribution of assets. In some states probate may take a few months; in other states it can take years.

Category: Estate Law

Share this page with a friend