How to Leave Your Property

The heart of will making is deciding who gets your property when you die. For many, this is an easy task: You want it all to go to your spouse or partner, your kids or your favorite charity. For others, it's a little more complicated—for example, you want most of your property to go to your spouse, partner, child or charity, but you also want certain items to go to other people. You may even have a fairly complicated scheme in mind that involves dividing your property among a number of people and organizations.

The previous section of the WillMaker legal manual introduced some basic concepts about your property and whether you can leave it to others in your will. This section explains how to put your plan into effect using WillMaker. If you want to leave all or most of your property to a loved one or favorite charity, the program offers you some shortcuts. WillMaker also accommodates more complex wishes.

After you name those who will get your property, WillMaker lets you name alternates—that is, who should get property if your first choices do not survive you.

You do not need to read all sections to figure out how to write the will you want. Start with the discussion that is tailored to your situation: