A will, often formally referred to as your last will and testament, is the document which sets out how your estate is to be distributed, to who, and in what manner upon your death. Depending on the assets owned by the person whose will it is, called the Testator, a will may have any number of provisions. Most frequently however, the will names several specific gifts to specific individuals plus a "catchall" of who is to receive the balance of your assets.
In an age where the trend is to make legal documents more understandable to non-attorneys, the will is still an extremely formal document. If the document is not drafted properly by an individual with estate planning expertise and property executed, it is all too easy for an error to go unnoticed. This can lead to a situation where you clearly expressed your wishes, but did not property execute the will. Potentially, this could result in the will not being enforceable in part, or worse yet, entirely void.
For those family members who will be too young to responsibly manage an inheritance, you may wish to establish a trust created in your will, called a Testamentary Trust. You may also wish to establish a revocable trust while you are still living for the benefit of certain family members, called an inter vivos trust, or living trust. Property which you transfer into such a trust is not subject to probate and can save considerable time, expense, and trouble for your executor and beneficiaries since trust assets do not pass through the probate process.
There are many different options available to you in implementing exactly how to manage your estate. That is why it is important that you sit down with an experienced Tuscaloosa estate planning attorney to discuss your options and desires should something unforeseen occur.