Wills vary from extremely simple to elaborate. It all depends on the needs and goals of the person making the will. For example, some people make a will mainly to name a guardian for their minor children if something happens to them. Others use a will as just one part of a broad estate plan that may include trusts, living wills, a power of attorney, and others. Wills can be a way to reduce taxes, distribute property, make probate easier, and avoid disagreements among loved ones.
A will is not just a tool for the wealthy. A will is beneficial if you have minor children, a few prized possessions (even if their value is mostly sentimental) or you have promised certain items to family members.
If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state law. This is done through the court-supervised distribution of your estate, called probate. Probate can be a lengthy process, and it can be made tougher and longer if there is no will or estate plan in place.