A person writes a will and testament before they die, and usually writes what they want to happen to their money and their things after they die. A will may also provide for other issues including,
- Stating preferences for funeral arrangements,
- Designating a guardian for a minor child,
- Preventing will contests, and
- Making gifts to charities.
When a person passes away, the person's will may be probated, meaning that a probate court will authorize a representative to carry out the deceased person's wishes. Depending upon where probate occurs, the representative may be called a personal representative, executor or administrator.
- Dukeminier, Jesse; Sitkoff, Robert H. (2013). Wills, Trusts, and Estates (9 ed.). Aspen Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4548-2457-2.
- "How the probate system works". New York Life. New York Life Insurance Co.. https://www.newyorklife.com/articles/overview-probate-process/. Retrieved 7 June 2017.