The building block of any estate plan is an appropriate Last
Will and Testament, often referred to as a "Will". A Will
establishes how property interests owned in the decent's name alone
will be handled after the decedent's death. The requirements
for a valid Will vary somewhat by the various state laws.
A Will also allows the naming of a persson who will administer a
person's assets and estate after death. That person is known
as an executor. Wills often contain trust provisions allowing
for longer term management of assets for children and/or
beneficiaries with disabilities as well as for other reasons.
Estate Planning involves advising to minimize death taxes, and
structuring to protect and approximately administer assets.