If you do not have a will, or even if your estate plan consists of solely having a will, then your estate when you die will typically have to go through the probate process. The use of a trust, by contrast, typically avoids the need to involve the probate court with your estate.

Probate involves your local county probate court administering your estate according to both the law and the court’s procedure.

The probate process is a public one, and can expose your assets to public view, and may require in-court appearances during the time the estate is being administered nay the court.

This video discusses how probate works without a will:

This next video discusses how the probate process works when you do have a will:

The probate process typically takes six months or more to complete, assuming there are no major issues that arise during the process. Having an attorney guide you through the probate process is vital to prevent issues and delays from occurring with the probate process.