A primary function of a probate court is to establish the validity of the living will. The probate judge will carry out the instructions within his last will and will as long as he meets three conditions. If it doesn't, then it happens with an intestate succession, which also follows its own default procedures. A person writes a will while he is alive and his instructions are only carried out once the person dies.
A will names a person who is still living as executor of the estate, and that person is responsible for managing the estate. The probate court generally supervises the executor to ensure that the wishes specified in the will are met. A last will is important if you want to control your assets, assets and finances after death. For example, without a will, you would not be able to give away property to a non-relative or exclude certain relatives from claiming an inheritance.
A last will is especially important for parents with minor children, as it allows you to appoint a legal guardian. If you die without a valid will, a court appointed the administrator distributes your estate according to a predetermined formula (defined in state law). For example, California's probate code states that an intestate person's assets go first to his or her surviving spouse and children (to varying degrees, depending on the situation). If you don't leave instructions and you have no surviving family members, the state can collect your property.
Anyone over 18 years of age should use a Last Will and Testament to help avoid potential disputes or confusion regarding their estate. Why might I need a last will and a will? If you die without a will, you die intestate and New York State has codified in the specific divisions of your estate when you die without a will that may not fit your wishes. New York divides your estate between a spouse and minor children. If none of them survive, other members of your family may be entitled to part or all of your estate.
Making a simple will usually doesn't involve complicated legal issues. You should be able to get a book on wills from your library or get information online to learn what to do; make sure that what you read refers specifically to New York State.