One document used to indicate where your assets should go upon your demise is called a holographic will. This type of will is usually written when someone is on his deathbed. There are two witnesses required for type of will and it is written in the handwriting of the creator of the will. It does not need to be written formally however, it can be written on a napkin. For example, “Jane gets everything I own” written on napkin constitutes a holographic will if witnessed by two parties, and written in his own handwriting. Although this type of will can be used to show your intent, it does not protect your assets from probate. No will protects from the probate process. If you do have significant assets, i.e. a house, you will want to create a trust (commonly referred to as a living trust or revocable estate plan). Only this document will protect from the probate process and help to ensure that your loved ones get your assets. Remember, the state and federal government has a variety of ways that they can use to tax your estate. This includes probate (which I am referring to basically as a tax), and federal estate taxes which are extremely high. To fully protect your assets, you should create an estate plan. For more information about estate planning, or any of our legal services, please call us for a free phone consultation!