A will is often said to be the cornerstone of any estate plan.  The main purpose of a will is to disburse property to heirs after your death.  If you don’t leave a will, disbursements will be made according to state law, which might not be what you would want.

There are two other equally important aspects of a will:

  • You can name the person (executor) who will manage and settle your estate.  If you do not name someone, the court will appoint an administrator, who might not be someone you would choose
  • You can name a legal guardian for minor children or dependents with special needs.  If you don’t appoint a guardian, the state will appoint one for you.

Keep in mind that a will is a legal document, and the courts are very reluctant to overturn any provisions within it.  Therefore, it is crucial that your will be well written and articulated, and properly executed under state laws.  It is also important to keep your will up-to-date.