Everyone should have a will, health care proxy and power of attorney.
When a person does not have a power of attorney, a guardianship proceeding may be necessary to designate someone to act for him/her.
When someone dies, a will tells the family how the person wanted to distribute his/her estate assets. If you do not have a will, the state law sets out who gets what from the person's estate.
If a person dies with assets still in his/her name, a probate proceeding may be necessary.