A will is a document you make that says what you want to happen to your property and family when you die. It says who you want to take care of your children, should you die when they are still young. This is called nominating a guardian. Your will also says how you want your property divided and distributed. It also says who you want to take care of all of this business for you. This person is your personal representative. When you die, your personal representative will take your will to the court. This is called filing your will. The court will authorize your personal representative to act with regard to your property. The court will also authorize the person you nominated to be guardian to take care of your children. When your will is filed with the court, it becomes public. Anyone can go to the court and read your will. This means anyone can know how you want your property divided and distributed. The process of filing your will in court, naming the guardian, and the personal representative is called probate. Your personal representative will hire an attorney to make sure everything is done correctly. The probate process can be lengthy and expensive.