A will can accomplish the following:
1) Leave real and personal property to a spouse, children, grandchildren, other relatives,
friends, favorite charities or anyone else you choose;
2) Provide alternate beneficiaries if someone named in the will predeceases you;
3) Revoke all prior wills;
4) Forgive debts owed to you;
5) Nominate a guardian for minor children;
6) Nominate a custodian for minor beneficiaries;
7) Choose a method for leaving property to minor children;
8) Appoint an executor (or personal representative), the person who will carry out your wishes and administer your estate; and
9) Disinherit a relative who might otherwise be entitled to inheritance under the law.
Why should you make a Will?
A major reason to create a will is that all of your property will be distributed as you wish, rather than according to the laws of your state. Creating a will is your opportunity to make your intentions clear, and to keep important decisions in your hands. Every adult who has property, whether it's a home, a rocking chair or a priceless art collection, should make out a will. And every parent with a child under the age of 18 (or 21 in some states) should name a guardian for that child in his or her will.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document. It allows you to choose who receives your belongings and assets after you die. The recipients of your property are called your beneficiaries. A will can also be used to nominate a guardian to care for and raise your minor children as well as a custodian to manage their property and finances. Creating a will also allows you to choose a person to manage the distribution of your assets. This person is called an executor or personal representative.