Identifying Parties in Your Will

Identifying Parties in Your Will

The first thing you must understand is who will be involved or connected to your will.


When making your will, it is important to clearly identify the persons you name as your beneficiaries. In some families, names differ only by middle initial or by Jr. or Sr. Be sure to check everyone's name before making your will. You can also add your relationship to the beneficiary and their location, such as "my cousin, George Simpson of Clearwater, Florida."


Clarify the names of organizations and charities. For example, there is more than one group using the words "cancer society" or "heart association" in their name. Be sure to get the correct name of the group to which you intend to leave your gift.

Spouse and Children

You should mention your spouse and children in your will, even if you do not leave them any property. This is to show that you are of sound mind and know your heirs. If you have a spouse or children and plan to leave your property to persons other than them, you should consult an attorney to be sure that your will is enforceable.

  • What is a Will?
    A last will is a document that you create to direct the management and distribution of your property and provide for the care of your minor children after your death. The importance of a last will cannot be overstated. A last will is arguably the most important legal document that the average...
    read more
  • Leaving Property to Heirs in a Will
    A typical last will contains two types of gifts: specific and general. Specific gifts, which leave a particular object or dollar amount to a particular person, are optional, but are generally the first items of property that are distributed from a last will. A specific gift might read: "I leave to...
    read more
  • Last Wills and Probate Court
    Probate is the legal process through which the court decides how your property will be divided. If you have a last will, the court will review that document to determine your wishes and will follow those wishes unless the last will is successfully contested by your heirs. If you do not have a last...
    read more
  • Joint Tenancy
    Property that is owned in joint tenancy with right of survivorship does not pass under a will. If a will gives property to one person but it is already in a joint account with another person, the will is usually ignored and the joint owner of the account gets the property. The property in the...
    read more
  • Overruling Your Will
    If all property is in joint ownership or if all property is distributed through a will, things are simple. But when some property passes by each method, a person's plans may not be fulfilled. Example 1: Bill's will leaves all his property to his sister, Mary. Bill dies owning a house jointly with...
    read more
  • Tenancy in Common
    Property that is owned by more than one person but not owned in joint tenancy with right of survivorship or in tenancy by the entireties is often owned in a tenancy in common. This means that each person owns part of the property (such as one half or one third), and upon each person's death, the...
    read more