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A will is a legal document you use to transfer assets you have accumulated during your lifetime to the people and institutions you want to have them after your death.
The will also names an executor -- the person or people who will carry out your wishes.
You can leave your assets directly to your heirs, or you can use your will to establish one or more trusts to receive the assets and distribute them at some point in the future.
The danger of dying without a will is that a court in the state where you live will decide what happens to your assets. Its decision may not be what you would have chosen, and its deliberations can be costly and delay settling your estate.