Will Guide
Introduction
What Happens if You Die Without a Will
Probate
Leaving Property to Heirs
Guardianships
Debts
Homes and Family Residence
Testamentary Trusts
Amending and Revoking Your Will
Marriage, Divorce and Children
Estate Taxes
Will FAQs
What is a will?
What happens if you die without a will?
Is my out-of-state will valid if I move?
What makes a will legal?
Can I make a handwritten will?
Do I have to file my will with a court or in public records?
Can I disinherit someone?
What should I do with my will after I sign it?
Can I change or revoke my will after I make it?
What happens to my debts after I die?
Where can I get my will notarized?

What You Need To Know

Leaving Property to Heirs



In a typical will, there are two types of gifts: specific gifts and general gifts. Specific gifts, which leave a particular object to someone, are optional – but they are the first gifts that are bestowed from a will. For example, a specific gift might read: “I leave to my daughter Cynthia my engagement ring.” You can also choose to forgive a specific debt that someone owes you.

A general gift leaves a percentage of all that remains after the specific gifts are made. The people who receive these general gifts are known as “principal heirs” because they usually receive the bulk of the estate after the smaller gifts and valuables are distributed. Usually, the principal heir is the will maker's spouse or closest relative. Each will must have at least one principal heir. For example, the principal heir clause might state something like, "All the rest of my property I leave to [name of principal heir]."

The personal representative you appoint in the will (known as the “executor”) is responsible for dividing up the gifts and making sure that your wishes are carried out.

BackCheck PricingGet StartedMore Information