A will is a legal document that expresses a person’s desires as to how their assets will be distributed after their death. It will also designate a person, known as an executor, to oversee those assets until the final distributions are made. Another function is the designation of a guardian for minor children.
When there is no will
If there is no will when you pass away, the state in which you live decides how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to that state’s laws. It may not be what you wanted. A will provides you with the security of knowing your assets will be distributed the way you desire.
Contents of the will
There are some variations, but they generally include the following:
- Designation of an executor, who carries out the provisions of the will.
- Beneficiaries—those who are inheriting the assets.
- Instructions for how and when the beneficiaries will receive the assets.
- Guardians for any minor children.