When you make a Will, you name people who you want to take ownership of your belongings when you die. These people are your Beneficiaries. Anyone can become a beneficiary and you can name as many as you like. People without families (and some with) sometimes leave their estates to charities or other organisations. The only way of making sure your estate is distributed how you wish is to write a will.
When you are writing your will can name one or more Executors. These are the people you choose to take control of your affairs when you die. They take on the responsibility of distributing your Estate in accordance with your Will. Executors can sometimes have quite a challenging task, therefore it is important to choose people that you trust and can depend on. Executors have a legal responsibility to act lawfully in the distribution of your Estate. Executors can also be named as Beneficiaries.
If you have children, you can make provisions for them in your will. You can nominate the person you wish to take over their care after you have passed away. You can appoint Guardians for any minors of whom you have parental guardianship, providing they are under the age of 18. The only way of being sure that your children are appointed the primary carer of your choice is to document it in a will. In the case of married parents this is fairly straightforward.
On the other hand, if you are a single parent of have complicated family dynamics or circumstances, things can get complicated if there is no will in place. Knowing your children will be taken care of by the people you choose after you pass away, is one of the most important provisions you can make.
You can also make it known in your will of any wishes you have for your funeral. It is important to some people to specify certain music to be played, charities they would like donations to be sent to, or stories/messages to be read out on the day. Writing this in a will takes away some of the hard decisions from loved ones in times of mourning.