will 1 n
1: the desire, inclination, or choice of a person or group
2: the faculty of wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending
3: a legal declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property after death; esp: a formally executed written instrument by which a person makes disposition of his or her estate to take effect after death see also codicil, living will, testament
antenuptial will: a will that was executed by a person prior to that person's marriage and is usu. revocable by the court if no provision was made for the person's spouse unless an intention not to make such a provision is manifest
conditional will: a will intended to take effect upon a certain contingency and usu. construed as having absolute force when the language pertaining to the condition suggests a general purpose to make a will
counter will: mutual will in this entry
holographic will: a will written out in the hand of the testator and accepted as valid in many states provided it meets statutory requirements (as that no important parts have been altered or replaced in the hand of another and that it has been properly witnessed)
international will: a will written in any language and executed in accordance with procedures established as a result of an international convention so as to be valid as to form regardless of the location of its execution or the assets, nationality, domicile, or residence of the testator
◇ A properly executed international will is still subject to local probate laws; the validity deriving from adherence to statutory requirements for such wills is purely formal, and a will invalid in respect to such requirements may still be valid under other rules.
joint and mutual will: a single will jointly executed by two or more persons and containing reciprocal provisions for the disposition of property owned jointly, severally, or in common upon the death of one of them – called also joint and reciprocal will;
joint will: a single will jointly executed by two or more persons and containing their respective wills
the execution of a joint will or mutual wills does not create a presumption of a contract not to revoke the will or willsMaine Revised Statutes compare joint and mutual will in this entry
◇ A joint and mutual will is a joint will, but a joint will need not contain reciprocal provisions.
mutual will: one of two separate wills that share reciprocal provisions for the disposition of property in the event of death by one of the parties
a mutual will executed in connection with an agreement based on sufficient consideration is both contractual and testamentary in naturePruss v. Pruss, 514 N.W.2d 335 (1994) – called also counter will, reciprocal will; compare joint and mutual will in this entry
mystic will in the civil law of Louisiana: a will signed, sealed, witnessed, and notarized according to statutory procedure – called also mystic testament, secret testament;
◇ The Louisiana Civil Code requires that for a mystic will to be valid, the will document itself or the envelope containing it must be closed and sealed and thus presented to the notary public and witnesses, or closed and sealed in their presence, and the testator must declare that it contains his or her signed will. The envelope or closed document must be subscribed by the testator, witnesses, and notary public.
non·in·ter·ven·tion will /ˌnän-ˌin-tər-'ven-chən-/: a will that provides for an executor to administer the estate without judicial involvement
nuncupative will: a will allowed in some states that is dictated orally before witnesses and set down in writing within a statutorily specified time period (as 30 days) and that is allowed only for one in imminent peril of death from a terminal illness or from military or maritime service
pour–over will: a will that provides for a transfer of assets (as the residue of the estate) to a trust (as an inter vivos trust) upon the death of the testator
reciprocal will: mutual will in this entry
at will: subject to an individual's discretion; specif: without a requirement that the employer have just cause for terminating an employee
could be discharged at will
will 2 vt
1: to order or direct by will
will ed that his money be given to charity
2: to dispose of by will
will ed the house to their children

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (desire) noun animus, aspiration, backbone, choice, command, decision, desideration, determination, disposition, grit, hankering, hope, inclination, intent, longing, mind, pleasure, power of choosing, power of determination, preference, purpose, resoluteness, resolution, self-control, self-discipline, velleity, volition, voluntas, want, wish, yearning foreign phrases:
- Voluntas donatoris in charta doni sui manifeste expressa observetur. — The will of the donor which is clearly expressed in his deed of gift should be observed
- Furiosi nulla voluntas est. — A madman has no will
II (testamentary instrument) noun bequeathal, bestowal, document, dispensation, disposition, instrument, legacy, testament, testamentum associated concepts: absolute will, alienation, alteration, ambulatory will, appointment of an administrator, attempt to defeat will, bequest, cancellation, challenge to a will, codicil, commercial will, conditional will, conjoint will, contested will, contractual wills, counter wills, devise, election, execute a will, executor named in a will, existence of a will, forgery of a will, gift inter vivos, holographic will, incorporation by reference, instructions, joint wills, mutual wills, nuncupative will, precatory words, probate, property which passes by will, pursuant to terms of will, reciprocal wills, revocation of a will, suit for construction of a will, suit to annul or suspend a will, unconditional will, validity of a will, voidable will, witness to a will, written instrument foreign phrases:
- Da tua dum tua sunt, post mortem tunc tua non sunt — Give that which is yours while it is yours; after death it is not yours.
- Haereditas est successio in universum jus quod defunctus habuerit — Inheritance is the succession to every right which the deceased had possessed.
- Sola ac per se senectus donationem testamentum aut transactionem non vitiat. — Old age does not alone and of itself vitiate a will, gift, or transaction
- Haereditas nihil aliud est, quam successio in universum jus, quod defunctus habuerit. — An inheritance is nothing other than the succession to all the rights which the deceased had
- In testamentis plenius testatoris intentionem scrutamur. — In wills, the intentions of the testators should be fully regarded
- In testamentis ratio Tacita non debet considerari, sed verba solum spectari debent; adeo per divinationem mentis a verbis recedere durum est. — In wills an unexpressed intention ought not to be considered, but the words alone ought to be regarded, for it is difficult to recede from the words by guessing at their intention
- In dubiis, non praesumitur pro testamento. — In doubtful cases, there is no presumption in favor of the will
- Interest reipublicae ne maleficia remaneant impunita. — It concerns the state that men's last wills be held valid
- Quae in testamento Ita sunt scripta ut intelligi non possint, perinde sunt ac si scripta non essent — Things which are so written in a will that they cannot be understood, are the same as if they had not been written at all
- Testatoris ultima voluntas est perlmplenda secundum veram intentionem suam. — The last will of a testator is to be thoroughly fulfilled according to his true intention.
- Non a I iter a significatione verborum recedi oportet quam cum manifestum est, allud sensisse testatorem. — The ordinary meaning of the words ought not to be departed from unless it is evident that the testator intended otherwise
- Ubi pugnantia inter se in testamento juberentur, neutrum ratum est — When two directions conflicting with each other are given in a will, neither is held valid
- Cum in testamento amblgue aut etiam perperam scriptum est benigne interpretari et secundum id quod credlbile est cogitatum credendum est — When an ambiguous, or even an incorrectly written, expression is found in a will, it should be interpreted liberally and according to what is the probable intention of the testator.
- Omne testamentum morte consummatum est — Every will or testament is consummated by death
- Nemo plus commodi heredi suo relinquit quam ipse habuit. — No one leaves a greater advantage for his heir than he himself had.
- Ambulatoria est voluntas defunctiusque ad vltae supremum exitum. — The will of a deceased person is revocable until the last moment of life.
- Relatio semper fiat ut valeat dispositio. — Reference should always be made that a testamentary disposition may be effective.
- Cum duo inter se pugnantia reperiuntur in testamento, ultimum ratum est — When two repugnant matters are found in a will, the last one will be confirmed
- Voluntas fach quod in testamento scriptum valeat — The will of the testator gives validity to what is written in the will
- Opinio quae favet testamento est tenenda. — An opinion which favors a will is to be followed
III index animus, choose, conatus, contribute (supply), decision (election), demise, descend, design (intent), desire, determine, discretion (power of choice), elect (choose), forethought, give (grant), latitude, leave (give), predetermination, purpose, resolution (decision), resolve (decide), tenacity, testament, volition

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

(1) Desire; intention; choice.
(2) A document in which a person describes how to distribute his or her property after death.
To leave property to someone through a will. See also holograph, last will and testament, living will, testament

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

a legal document in which a person (the testator) directs how his property is to be distributed after his death. Such documents must be executed in due form (i.e. in England, in accordance with the provisions of Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837) and must be duly witnessed.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A document in which the will maker specifies who is to receive his or her property at death and names an executor. You can also use your will to name a guardian for your young children. To be valid, awill must be signed by the person who made it (called the testator), dated, and witnessed by two people. In some states the witnesses must be disinterested. A will totally in the handwriting of the testator, signed and dated (a "holographic will") but without witnesses, is valid in about half of the states.
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Wills

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

England, Wales
A legal document in which a person declares their intention as to what should happen to their estate after their death, and which is executed in accordance with certain legal formalities.
Under the law of England and Wales, a will must be executed in accordance with the Wills Act 1837 (as amended by subsequent Acts). In order to be valid, a will must be:
• Made by a person who is 18 years old or over.
• Made voluntarily and without pressure from any other person.
• Made by a person who is of sound mind.
• Made in writing.
• Signed by the testator (www.practicallaw.com/resource.do?item=:42380216) in the presence of two witnesses.
• Signed by the two witnesses, in the presence of the testator (and in the presence if each other), after the testator has signed the will.
A witness, or the spouse or civil partner of a witness, cannot benefit from the will. If a witness of the will is also a beneficiary (www.practicallaw.com/9-382-5565) (or the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary), the will is still valid, but the beneficiary will not be able to inherit under the will.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 Desire, intent, choice, as in, "she exercised her own free will."
2 A document spelling out what is to be done with the person's (testator's) belongings after she has died. Such document has no force while the person is alive and may be altered or revoked at any time, but becomes applicable at the time of the testator's death to whatever the conditions of the estate are at the time of death. The difference between a deed and a will is that a deed passes an interest upon delivery, while a will is effective only on death.
@ estate at will
The right of a grantee to use and possess land by mutual agreement (or will) with the grantor; the right to use the property terminates when the will of either party ends.
@ holographic will
n. A will set forth completely in handwriting; many states do not recognize such documents as valid, while others recognize the validity only if the entire instrument is written in the handwriting of the deceased.
@ joint and mutual will
One will executed by two or more persons with reciprocating provisions of consideration of each to the other.
@ joint will
A single will signed by two or more persons but that is not necessarily reciprocating or mutual.
@ last will and testament
Phrase commonly used to refer to the latest (most recent) instrument directing the disposition of the personal property of the signer(s).
=>> will.
@ mutual wills
@ nuncupative will
An oral will dictated by the testator just before death, before a certain number of witnesses (depending on state law), and put in written form after death; generally invalid in most states.
n. A verbal will made in contemplation of oncoming death from a wound or injury. Not valid in most states.
=>> will.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of his estate after his death.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of his estate after his death.
II A legal declaration that disposes of a person's property when that person dies.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   a written document which leaves the estate of the person who signed the will to named persons or entities (beneficiaries, legatees, divisees) including portions or percentages of the estate, specific gifts, creation of trusts for management and future distribution of all or a portion of the estate (a testamentary trust). A will usually names an executor (and possibly substitute executors) to manage the estate, states the authority and obligations of the executor in the management and distribution of the estate, sometimes gives funeral and/or burial instructions, nominates guardians of minor children and spells out other terms. To be valid the will must be signed by the person who made it (testator), be dated (but an incorrect date will not invalidate the will) and witnessed by two people (except in Vermont which requires three). In some states the witnesses must be disinterested, or in some states, a gift to a witness is void, but the will is valid. A will totally in the handwriting of the testator, signed and dated (a "holographic will") but without witnesses, is valid in many, but not all, states. If the will (also called a Last Will and Testament) is still in force at the time of the death of the testator (will writer), and there is a substantial estate and/or real estate, then the will must be probated (approved by the court, managed and distributed by the executor under court supervision). If there is no executor named or the executor is dead or unable or unwilling to serve, an administrator ("with will annexed") will be appointed by the court. A written amendment or addition to a will is called a "codicil" and must be signed, dated and witnessed just as is a will, and must refer to the original will it amends. If there is no estate, including the situation in which the assets have all been placed in a trust, then the will need not be probated.
   See also: codicil estate executor guardian holographic will last will and testament probate testator

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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