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Normally, trusts are superior to wills. However, in some circumstances a will is an excellent estate planning option for passing smaller sums of assets on to family or charities. A will is a legal document that describes how your assets should be distributed in the event of death. The actual distribution, however, is controlled by a legal process called probate. Probate in Latin is "prove the will." Upon death, the will is scrutinized by the courts and becomes a part of the public record. Control over the will then rests in the hands of attorneys and judges.

Wills are state-specific and an expert is necessary to draft a will that can protect against possible problems executing the will after death.