Probate is the legal process that transfers the legal title of property from the estate of the deceased to their beneficiaries. During the probate process the executor of your will, usually with the assistance of a lawyer, goes before the courts and identifies and catalogs all the property you owned, appraises the property, pays all debts and taxes, proves that the will is valid and legal, and distributes the property according to the instructions of your will. Probate can be a long, drawn-out legal process, and probate-avoidance plans may be available. It is advisable to speak with a lawyer to find out what you can do to avoid the probate process.