Your last will and testament must be probated. Probate is a court-supervised process to validate your will, appoint a personal representative and distribute your estate. Probate also is required to appoint a guardian for your minor children, if necessary.
Probate is a matter of public record. Your last will and testament is subject to challenge by any person with an interest in the estate (such as a disinherited heir) or custody of a minor child. Your personal representative pays outstanding liabilities and distributes assets to your beneficiaries according to the will’s instructions.