A Last Will and Testament is a written instrument by which a person (called a "testator") disposes of his or her assets at death. It allows the testator to decide and list who gets what. Specific personal items can be given to certain persons and the testator can choose which friends, relatives, charities, entities or institutions, or even strangers (all called "beneficiaries"), should recieve a share of the assets. A Will disposes of everything that the testator owns in his or her own name (defined as the "probate estate"), including assets acquired after the Will was made.
It also may dispose of any assets over which the testator has been given disposition power by another's Will or trust instrument (called "a power of appointment"). Yet, the Will does not convey to any listed beneficiaries either a present interest in or rights to the designated property; rather, these rights arise only when the testator dies.
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