What is a will?

A will states how you want your assets distributed upon your passing. If you have a will and no living trust, your assets will likely need to go through probate court if you have real property or more than $100,000.

Why have one?

In a will, you can name an executor to distribute your assets, avoid the costs and burdens of bond if a probate becomes necessary, name a guardian for your minor children, and state who you want to receive your assets and how you want them distributed.
If you die without a will, your property passes as required under your state's rules of intestacy. Although the rules of intestacy are fairly intuitive, they may not lead to the distribution pattern you would choose, especially in situations where each spouse or one spouse has separate children.

Who needs one?

If you want to control how your assets are distributed at your passing and you do not own real property and have less than $100,000. If you have a living trust, you still need a will, but the will is called a “pour-over will”. The pour-over will is a safety net that pours over assets into your living trust that you forgot to title in the name of your living trust.