What is the Difference Between a Will and a Last Will and Testament?

The terms 'will' and 'last will and testament' are often used interchangeably, but there is actually no difference between them. A last will and testament is a single document that outlines the disposition of all of a person's assets and property upon their death. This document requires the testator to fill in the blanks, name an executor, and describe how they would like their possessions distributed. Your trust formation documents will address the assets you have funded in your trust, but you can back them up with a final will to be sure.

Specifically, a will and last will instruct the court on the disposition of all assets, including who will receive them and in what amount. The probate judge will carry out the instructions within his last will and testament as long as he meets three conditions. Interestingly, many of the original 19th century requirements that were established in England around the creation of the Last Will and Testament have stood the test of time, and remain legal requirements to this day in many states. The testator must sign the will at the end of the document, although the date can appear anywhere in the document.

A last will and testament is a legal document that describes a person's final wishes regarding the distribution of assets and property after death, as well as other matters such as guardianship of minor children. It is one of the most important documents a person can have; however, many people put off dealing with it for too long. Online will creators allow you to write, print, and sign your last will through an online or downloaded document creator. Most jurisdictions require testators to follow specific steps to properly execute their will and testament.

However, an average individual can certainly create their own Will and may find that a form of Last Will and Testament is perfect for their needs. If you don't have a signed will and testament, most states fail to comply with inheritance laws per stirpes. A will has a set of standard terms that refer to different individuals, entities, and actions. In addition, you must have reached the age of majority in your state to be able to leave a final will and testament.