Some assets are not governed or distributed by the terms of a will. These assets are often called nonprobate assets. An asset that has a beneficiary designation, payable-on-death (POD) designation, or transfer-on-death (TOD) designation is a contract with that financial institution and is not controlled by the terms of your will. In addition, if you own an asset with another person as a joint tenant or joint owner, that asset will pass to the other joint owner(s) after your death and is not controlled by your will.
If your assests do not have theses designations, are owned as tenants-in-common, or are owned by you alone, they generally are considered probate assets and would be distributed under teh terms of a will.
(This is not inteded to be legal advice and is only informational)