10 types of Will: Which one should you choose?

When it comes to estate planning, wills are often the last thing on people’s minds. But those who go without one may find themselves blindly following tradition or making decisions based on what their parents did or thought they should do. A will is vital for protecting your family and assets against unexpected events like natural disasters, sickness, divorce, or even death. If you’re unsure which type of will would be best for your situation, read on!

A will is a legal document that states the intentions of a person who has died. When you’re thinking about what kind of will you need, there are several factors that should be considered. 

A basic will

A basic will is a straightforward document that simply states who gets what in your estate and when. This type of document doesn’t contain any additional clauses or provisions for special circumstances like beneficiary designations or trusts, so if you have something like that on your mind but haven’t gotten around to writing it down yet—or even if you think about adding those things later—a basic will may be the way to go.

You don’t have to worry about what will happen to your estate after your demise because everything has been spelled out clearly with this type of document. Plus, since there is no complicated clause involved, it’s easy enough for anyone who isn’t an attorney (or even a legal expert) to understand what they’re signing up for when they make their own versions using templates available online or tools like DIY probate a will creating option which allows anyone to create their Will in a very easy and simple process.

Survivorship Will

A survivorship Will is one in which the property is left to a single beneficiary. The testator (the person who wrote the Will) must name that person as the sole heir of their estate. A testamentary trust can also be part of a survivorship Will. This type of trust is set up by people who want their assets to pass on after they die but don’t want them passing through probate court because they don’t want their beneficiaries learning about it during their lifetime or having access to those assets until after their own death.

A Living Will

A living Will is a legal document that explains your preferences for medical care, including end-of-life care, in the event that you become unable to make or express such decisions. The main advantage of a living Will is that it gives you control over how to live your last days, even if you can not speak up at that time. It also prevents family members from making these decisions without your knowledge and consent if they have to make them without your consent (i.e. if someone else has been appointed as guardian).

A Family Trust Will

A family trust Will specifically names the people who will be given money or property from the trust after your death. It can be used to ensure that your assets go to those who you want them to go to, but it doesn’t provide any legal protection if something goes wrong with the terms of this arrangement.

A trust is a legal entity that can hold assets for the benefit of another person or group of people. If you have an amount in cash and decide later on that some portion should go into this type of structure, all you need do is write out a letter asking someone else (your lawyer) to set up one—and they’ll take care of everything afterward!

A Special Needs Trust Will

If you have a disabled child or grandchild and want to help them get through college, a special needs trust may be the answer. This type of trust is created to hold assets for a beneficiary who has a disability. It can also be used to help the beneficiary receive government benefits and Medicaid, which means they can receive money from Medicaid directly into their bank account without having to pay anything out-of-pocket initially.

An Ethical Will

This is a Will that is written in accordance with the ethical principles of a person’s belief system. An ethical Will follows their religion or culture, and it can be written by someone who is not a lawyer or other professional legal document writer. The person must fill out an application form with two witnesses and sign it themselves. 

A Holographic Will

A holographic Will is handwritten on any type of paper. It’s not considered valid in all states, so you should check the laws for your state before writing one. The testator must sign the holographic Will to make it valid. The witnesses must be over 18 and cannot be a beneficiary in the Will. It’s also important to note that an oral will is invalid unless it has been written down by someone who is not a beneficiary of the will. 

A Mutual Will

A mutual Will is a document where two or more people make a joint Will. The Wills are usually identical and state that if one person dies, the other person gets their estate. A mutual Will may be used to simplify probate proceedings and reduce court costs by eliminating duplicate administration (the process by which estates are transferred from one party to another). In addition, it can protect beneficiaries with no legal standing—such as children or grandchildren—from having to stand in court when their inheritance is challenged after someone dies unexpectedly.

A Nuncupative Will

Nuncupative Wills, also known as deathbed or oral Wills, are made by a dying person. They must be written down, signed, and witnessed by two people at the time of signing. The witness to this Will should also be present when it’s read out to you, if possible. The testator must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent when they sign the will. 


There are various types of wills, but don’t let the number of options overwhelm you. If you are ready to move forward with a Will, don’t be intimidated by all the choices. In most states, there is only one type of Will that needs to be created and executed – a basic Will. This allows for flexibility as your family grows and changes, ensuring everyone knows where their assets lie when they pass away.