A will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death and can appoint guardians for minor children. A will is important to have, as it allows you to communicate your wishes clearly and precisely. It is advisable to work closely with an estate planner to create and update your will.
When there is no will
If you don’t have a plan, your government has one for you, but you probably won’t like it.
Without a will, the country in which you reside decides how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to its laws. This is known as dying intestate, and the resulting settlement process may not produce the results that you would prefer for your survivors. You can prevent this from happening by having documents drafted that reflect your wishes.
A will provides your instructions, but it does not avoid probate. Any assets titled in your name or directed by your will must go through probate process before they can be distributed to your heirs. (If you own property in other country, your family will probably face multiple probates, each one according to the laws in that country.) The process varies greatly from country to country, but it can become expensive with legal fees, executor fees, and court costs. It can also take anywhere from nine months to two years or longer.