Why Do I Need A Will Anyway?
Simple answer, "Your Life, Your Decisions." Dying without a Will, called Intestacy, the State of Idaho determines who will manage your estate (or property and the distribution of it) and who will be on the receiving end of those distributions. This means that your wants, wishes, and desires have absolutely NO voice. Also, if you are the parent of minor aged children, a Will is the only legal way in Idaho to nominate a guardian for your children.
Does A Will Help Me Avoid Probate?
Simple answer, "No, a Will Guarantees Probate." This is because Probate is the process intended to "prove" that your Will is valid. Intestacy, ie not having a Will, also involves Probate, so you can't skip Probate by not creating a Will. There are two basic ways of avoiding Probate, do not have the minimum required assets (not much fun!!!) to trigger Probate or create and properly fund a Revocable Living Trust.
What Are The Big Questions That A Will Answers?
Simple answer, "Who gets to control your property, who gets to receive your real property, who gets your personal property, and if it applies, who gets your minor aged children." Please know there are a multitude of other minor decisions that need to be made when drafting your Will. But, getting those top four items right is vitally important. Answering those questions may seem simple, but without serious consideration, a wrong answer often leads to major heartache for your family.
Simple answer, "No." You are under no obligation to leave your property to specific people. You have the absolute ability to gift your property to anyone or anything. However, if you decide to treat your children differently with your assets, you need to face and acknowledge that fact in your Will.