Q. What is a will?
A will is a written declaration of what a person wants done with their property upon death. A person who dies leaving a will is said to die “testate.” The law requires certain formalities for a will to be valid. A valid will can transfer an interest in both personal property (e.g. bank accounts, furniture, stocks, clothing) and real estate. A will allows a person to name a trusted individual to serve as an executor of the estate and guardian over the children. It also can provide protection for family members; for example, trusts for adult incompetent children, or “sprinkling” trusts for minor grandchildren where a trustee has discretion to distribute income according to need.