To understand what a will is, you must first understand what Probate is. Probate is a court process where the court names an executor to gather property of the decedent, pay any creditors of the decedent out of that property, and ultimately distributes the property to the decedent's heirs. Example: Mom dies, leaving two sons, Andrew and Bart. Bart petitions the court to become the executor, and the court complies and names him executor. Bart collects money from mom's bank accounts, and sells her house and adds the sale proceeds to the estate. After all of Mom's creditors are paid, Bart distributes the proceeds to himself and Bart.