Glossary

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Will

A will generally is a document that is prepared by an attorney and follows the requirements of the state in which the person writing it resides. Most often, a will tells how a person wants his or her property to be distributed when that person dies. A will takes effect only when the person who created it dies.

It is possible for a person to have multiple wills prepared during his or her lifetime. Generally speaking, when a person has a new will prepared, there is language in the new will revoking the old will. This shows that a will is revocable during the lifetime of the person having it prepared. If a new will is prepared without revoking an old will, the probate court typically becomes involved to decide which provisions will be in effect.

Will Contest

If someone or an organization challenges the validity of a will, it is called a will contest. That person or organization is “contesting” the will. There are several reasons a person might want to contest a will and determination of the validity of a will is left to the probate court.