A will is a written document that takes effect when you die. A will communicates how you want to dispose of your tangible personal property titled in your name only when you die. A will is a document where you can name guardians for children under the age of 18. People will name an executor or personal representative who will identify personal property and make sure it is distributed according to the will. A will can be as simple or as complex as the client needs.
A will is a useful document and a great starting point for an estate plan. However, a will has some limitations that are worth nothing. For instance, a will does not control property that is owned with someone else, i.e. joint tenancy. Because a will takes effect when you die, a will does not help you during a period of disability or incapacity. A will does not guarantee your estate will avoid probate.