A will, often referred to as a “Last Will and Testament” is a legal document that tells the probate court how you want your property distributed upon your death. The document identifies the person you have appointed to have the power and responsibility to represent your Estate and wrap up your affairs. As part of the probate process, the court will give your personal representative the authority to oversee and identify all of your property, pay outstanding bills and debts that may be owed by you to creditors and others, and distribute your remaining property in accordance with the order of the court as stipulated in your will.
The Will takes effect pursuant to a probate court’s determination of its validity. Therefore, your personal representative is appointed to act on behalf of your estate only after he/she is approved to do so by a probate judge.