A will typically includes the name of the executor, instructions for distribution of assets and the guardian designation of a child, according to AARP. A will legally declares the manager of an estate, or the executor who carries out the distribution of property such as small photographs and vacation homes at the time of death.
A court can appoint an administrator to serve in the same manner as the executor of the will if the will lacks the appointment of an executor, explains AARP. The testator of the will can appoint a spouse, a trusted friend or an adult child as an executor. However, the executor should have financial and legal knowledge such as a lawyer in the case of complicated affairs since an executor can deal with debt collectors or pay bills for the estate. A testator can also appoint joint executors such as a lawyer and a spouse.
Although a will allows for the distribution of property, certain properties such as life insurance, employee death benefits and jointly owned property with the right of survivorship take precedence over a will, notes the American Bar Association. Additionally, appointing a successor custodian for a child in a will helps to avoid court appointment expenses.