One important reason to have a will is to be able to name your executor (also called a personal representative). An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of your estate after you die.
What will happen to your estate if your primary beneficiary does not survive you? If your will does not name an alternate beneficiary, your estate will be divided according to state law, which may not be what you want.
Siblings do not always receive equal shares of a parent’s estate. Sometimes the inequality is intentional and sometimes it is accidental. Regardless of how it happens, it can cause arguments among the children.
Movies, television, and books like to present wills in dramatic ways–handwritten notes, videos, deathbed utterances–but what actually makes a will valid? The law varies depending on what state you live in, but there are some basic rules.