Wills, Trusts, & Estates

The Purpose of a Will or Testament

A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death. For the devolution of property not disposed of by will, see inheritance and intestacy.

Wills vs. Testaments

In the strictest sense, a “will” has historically been limited to real property while “testament” applies only to dispositions of personal property (thus giving rise to the popular title of the document as “Last Will and Testament”), though this distinction is seldom observed today. A will may also create a testamentary trust that is effective only after the death of the testator.

Trusts and Estates

In addition to wills and testaments, trusts and estates are also important tools for managing and transferring property. A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person, the trustee, manages property for the benefit of another person, the beneficiary. Estate planning involves the use of wills, trusts, and other legal tools to plan for the distribution of assets at death and to minimize taxes and other costs associated with the transfer of property.

At our law firm, we understand the intricacies of wills, trusts, and estates and can provide guidance on the management and transfer of property. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs.