When a person dies their will if executed properly will pass assets in their name only to those in their will. If a person dies without a will then their estate will pass to their heirs under the law. This may not always be the desire of a person. A will allows someone to choose to whom and in what amount people will share in their estate. The will also allows someone to nominate their executor and a guardian and trustee if minor children are involved. Without a will the probate court will decide the executor guardian and trustee. Again this may not have been the wish of that person.
In addition to a will, individuals may pass their assets to someone by executing a trust. Unlike a will, a trust can have assets transferred to it prior to someones death and may take affect prior to death. As with a will, the trust allows the person to assign their assets. Although some documents do not pass assets after death, other legal documents can be executed that allow someone to make their own decisions about themselves. These documents include a power of attorney and living will. If a person becomes incompetent or has end of life decisions these documents will avoid the necessity of probate court.
Contact McCormick Law for help in creating or settling a will.