A will is a device that lets you tell your heirs whom you want to get your assets. A person who dies with a will is said to have died testate. A person who dies without a will dies intestate. It is always preferable to have a will. A will states your desires as to the distribution of your estate. A will can be changed as your circumstances or your preferences change. Even if you take measures to avoid probate, it is a good idea to have a will as a back-up.

Even if you do not think you need a will, you should still see an estate planner to draw up powers of attorney for health care and financial matters. If you become incapacitated by illness or accident, a power of attorney will be critical to allow a friend or loved one to pay your bills and make health care decisions for you. These simple documents not only save money later, but they give you the security of knowing things will be taken care of in your absence.