Types of wills

Dec 10, 2023

Understanding Wills

When it comes to estate planning, creating a will is an essential step. A will ensures that your assets and personal belongings are distributed according to your wishes after your death. However, it's important to know that there are different types of wills, each serving a different purpose. Let's delve into the world of wills and understand their types.

Simple Wills

A simple will, as the name suggests, is a straightforward document that outlines who should inherit a person's property and assets after their death. It also appoints a legal representative to carry out the wishes of the deceased. Simple wills are ideal for people with uncomplicated financial situations and relatively small estates.

Testamentary Trust Wills

A testamentary trust will is a specific type of will that creates a trust upon the death of the testator. The assets are then managed by a trustee on behalf of the beneficiaries. This type of will is especially useful when the beneficiaries are minors or individuals who cannot manage the assets themselves.

trust will

Joint Wills

Joint wills are created by two people, usually a married couple, who agree to leave their assets to each other. Upon the death of one party, the surviving party inherits the entire estate. Once both parties have passed, the estate is then divided among other beneficiaries, typically their children.

Living Wills

Unlike the other types of wills, a living will doesn't deal with property or assets. Instead, it outlines a person's wishes regarding medical treatment if they become incapacitated and can't communicate their decisions. It's a legal document that guides healthcare professionals and family members when making tough medical decisions.

living will

Holographic Wills

A holographic will is a handwritten and signed document. While it may seem old-fashioned, it's still legally valid in some jurisdictions. However, because it's often created without legal advice, it may not meet all statutory requirements, leading to potential disputes.

Pourover Wills

A pourover will works in conjunction with a living trust. It directs any assets not already included in the living trust to be placed into it upon the testator's death. This process ensures that all assets are distributed according to the terms of the trust.


Understanding the different types of wills can help you make an informed decision about your estate planning. It's always recommended to seek legal advice when drafting a will to ensure it meets all legal requirements and truly reflects your wishes. Remember, a will is more than just a document; it's a way to ensure your loved ones are taken care of after you're gone.