What is a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) and what topics do they need to cover?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document designed to tell the probate court what to do with your assets after your death.  To be valid, a will must comply with the laws of the state in which you live.  All states have requirements regarding the signing and witnessing of your will and these requirements vary by state.

In a will the Testator (willmaker) nominates the Personal Representative (the person or institution) who is to settle the estate.  In addition, if the Testator has minor children, he or she typically nominates the Guardian or Guardians for those children.  We say nominate because the court actually appoints the Personal Representative and or Guardian, typically those nominated by the Testator.


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