A will gives the testator (the person making the will) the ability to choose how his property is disposed of upon his death.
Ability to Select the Executor(s) or Your Estate
A will gives the testator the ability to name the person who will oversee the administration of the estate. Without an executor, a personal representative will have to volunteer to administer the estate or if no one volunteers, a stranger could be appointed with these duties.
A Guardian May be Designated for Minor Child(ren)
The testator(s) may designate a guardian to care for the minor child(ren). A successor or backup guardian should also be named.
You May Designate Specific Property to a Specific Person
A testator may make a specific bequest of money, tangible property, stocks and more.
A Testamentary Trust May be Set Up
The testator may set up provisions for a trust within the will to carry out his future objectives after the estate is settled.
Charitable Contributions May be Made
Bequests may be made to charities through a will. If one dies intestate, then the testator's property would pass to lineal heirs or by default to the state.
Advantages of Martial Deduction Benefits May be Taken
Testator may maximize the amount of the marital deduction desired for property passing to a spouse. It is often possible to reduce or eliminate an estate tax on the first spouse's death. With no marital deduction, state intestacy laws will mandate a specific percentage of a decedent's assets for the surviving spouse's benefit. End result. Unnecessary death taxes.
Testator Can Choose Tax Allocation
The estate's allocation of taxes can be apportioned to different funds.
Will May Provide a Simultaneous Death Provision
The testators can choose the order of survival of themselves and their spouses as well as beneficiaries in the event of a common disaster. This can prevent loss of the marital deduction and having the same property go through multiple probate processes.
A Will's Residuary Provision Covers Remainder of Property
The residuary provision contains all property other than specific bequests, tangible personal property, and those assets not disposed of elsewhere in the will.
Prevents Your Estate from Possibly Passing to the State
If one dies without a will or intestate, property will pass to heirs as provided for statutorily. If there are no living relatives then the property could escheat or pass to the state.