If you die without a Will, also known as dying “Intestate” the court decides who your assets will go to upon your death.
A Will is essential for individuals or families with minor children. A Will allows for a guardian to be appointed for the children in the event that the family or individual is no longer able to provide care for the children.
If you die without a Will your assets are subjected to a legal process known as Probate. A personal representative is appointed by the Court and your assets are distributed according to the terms of your States intestacy laws.
If you die with a Will then your Will goes through probate. The Will must be proved to be genuine before the terms of the Will can be carried out. This process is very long and expensive and can take several weeks or years depending on the case.
A well drafted and fully funded Trust can avoid the probate process.