Last Will & Testaments

A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his estate and provides for the transfer of his property at death. For the devolution of property not disposed of by will.

It is very important to let your wishes be known as to the way you want your estate to be distributed because if you don't leave a Will, the State will decide for you. There's already a law stating how your estate will be distributed if you die "intestate", i.e., without leaving a Will.

In the strictest sense, a "will" has historically been limited to real property while "testament" applies only to dispositions of personal property (thus giving rise to the popular title of the document as "Last Will and Testament"), though this distinction is seldom observed today. A will may also create a testamentary trust that is effective only after the death of the testator.

If you die without leaving a Will in the State of Indiana, the Indiana Codes pertaining to dying "intestate" will go into effect and your estate will be distributed according to law.

This is the Indiana Code with respect to Intestate Distribution. IC 29-1-2-1
Estate distribution
Sec. 1. (a) The estate of a person dying intestate shall descend and be distributed as provided in this section.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), the surviving spouse shall receive the following share:
(1) One-half (1/2) of the net estate if the intestate is survived by at least one (1) child or by the issue of at least one (1) deceased child.
(2) Three-fourths (3/4) of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue, but the intestate is survived by one (1) or both of the intestate's parents.
(3) All of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue or parent.

This Code goes on in great detail to explain what happens if there are no surviving issue about what should happen to the estate. That is why it is important to decide how you want your estate, no matter the size to be distributed to your heirs, or if you have no direct descendants to a charity or wherever you think it should go.