A person writes a will and testament before they die, and usually writes what they want to happen to their estate (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.