A court supervised process that oversees a taking of inventory for all your assets, establishing values for your assets, listing of your debts and taxes and making sure the creditors and government is paid first. Then the court supervises the distribution of the remaining assets to your heirs. It begins with a petition to the Probate Court, lodging your Will, if you have one, publishing your death in the newspaper, and appointing an executor or personal administrator to do the work involved in a probate and that's just the beginning. The probate process is open to the public and anyone can review the court file on a probate. Probate is an expensive and time consuming process. While a Revocable Living Trust does not eliminate all the costs associated to a handling a loved ones estate, it can significantly minimize the cost and put the control of the estate in the hands of the individual you chose.