Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Last Will and Testament

What it is:

A last will and testament is a legally-binding document in which an individual expresses his last wishes concerning the affairs and distribution of his estate.

How it works (Example):

An individual creates a will while still alive. A will indicates the manner in which the creator, or testator, wishes for his or her estate to be managed at the time of his or her death. A will may be of any length and typically includes the testator's signature, the signatures of two witnesses, and a named living executor responsible for ensuring the terms of the will are fulfilled in compliance with the judgments of a probate court. A will designated as an individual's last will and testament becomes the final authoritative document that overrides any and all other wills written previously.

Why it Matters:

The terms of the last will and testament become effective only once the testator has died. Except where deemed unlawful by a probate court, the terms of a will are permanent and can be carried out in no manner except as stated. 

Related Terms View All
  • Auction Market
    Though most of the trading is done via computer, auction markets can also be operated via...
  • Best Execution
    Let's assume you place an order to buy 100 shares of Company XYZ stock. The current quote...
  • Book-Entry Savings Bond
    Savings bonds are bonds issued by the U.S. government at face values ranging from $50 to...
  • Break-Even Point
    The basic idea behind break-even point is to calculate the point at which revenues begin...
  • Calendar Year
    If Company XYZ starts its fiscal year on January 1 and ends its fiscal year on December...