A will, or a last will and testament, is a legal document that describes how you would like your property and other assets to be distributed and how you would like your disposition handled after your death. When you make a will, you can also use it to nominate guardians for your children, dependents, or pets.
FOUR LEGAL TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Testator: The person who creates a will
Executor: The person that the testator appoints to carry out their will
Beneficiaries: The people or organizations who are left bequests (cash gifts or other assets) in the will by the testator
Probate: is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence of the deceased at the time of death in the absence of a legal will.
When you pass away with a will, the will is usually presented to a local probate court. This court then authorizes the executor to distribute your assets according to the instructions in your will—as long as there are no disputes or other problems. If you pass away without a will, it is called dying 'intestate.' In those cases, a local court will distribute your property according to your province's intestacy laws. These typically give your spouse or partner, children, parents, siblings or other relatives a part of your property. But this may not necessarily be in the order or amounts you would like.
Many people assume that they are "too young" to need a will. Some people believe that they don't own enough assets or have a big enough net worth to necessitate a will. You might even think it's too late to start your first will.