A will is a legal document that determines what happens to your property after your death. A will states who receives property and in what amounts. Property distributed under the terms of the will become the “probate” estate. Making a will is a responsibility, as well as a right that is protected by law.
In addition to distributing or transferring property, a will may have other functions. It may be used to name a guardian for any minor children or to create a trust and designate a trustee to handle an estate (property left after death) on behalf of children or others. A will may also be used to name a personal representative or “executor” to handle deceased’s (the person who died) property and affairs from the time of death until an estate is settled.
Similar information is also found in court records when a person dies intestate (without a will) as it goes through probate.