A will provides for the distribution of property owned by you at the time of your death in any manner you choose. If a will provides for the outright distribution of assets, it is sometimes characterized as a simple will. If the will establishes one or more trusts, it is often called a testamentary trust will. Alternatively, the will may leave your assets to a preexisting living trust (created in your lifetime), in which case it is called a pour over will.

A will does not avoid probate. A will is used in probate to determine who receives your property and who will act as the executor.