Wills and Trusts are a part of Estate Planning, which is the process of making sure that a person’s wishes concerning their health and their property are honored and carried out. A person’s “estate” consists of all the property they own including cash, real estate, stocks, life insurance policies and personal property. Proper estate planning, such as making a valid will, ensures that the people (“beneficiaries”) and family members you specify will receive the property that the person who makes a trust or will decides to give or “bequest” to them. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that appoints a third party (“trustee”) to hold and administrate the assets of the trust on behalf of those beneficiaries named to receive benefits. Probate court (or “surrogates court”) may be required if a person dies without a will (“intestate”) and who manages the administration of estates and cases where a will is challenged or “contested.” Should you become hospitalized and unable to make your own decisions, you can plan for this possibility in advance by creating a health care proxy and living will in order to make sure that your wishes are carried out. A power of attorney enables you to legally appoint a person to make decisions on your behalf, including those concerning medical care, life support and financial decisions.