A will is document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of his estate after his death.
At Common Law an instrument disposing of Personal Property was called a “testament,” whereas a will disposed of real property. Over time the distinction has disappeared so that a will, sometimes called a “last will and testament,” disposes of both real and personal property.
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.
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