Probate is the court procedure required to prove that a will is valid and with court direction, administer the estate of a person who has passed away in a way that is consistent with their wishes. The term “probate” is also the generic term for the entire process of the administration of the estate of the deceased person, including those estates without wills, with court supervision. The reason attorneys often counsel their clients to avoid probate is the time and expense associated with the process. To avoid probate, clients are advised to create a trust or put their assets in forms that avoid probate such as joint tenancy, pay on death accounts and assets containing beneficiary provisions. However, it is important that you seek legal advice when exploring the alternatives to a trust or probate as there are many pitfalls and consequences that may be unintended of which you should be aware.