Probate is the legal process of distributing your assets to your heirs when you pass away. This process is overseen by the court in your jurisdiction and is governed by legal statutes already in place.
Probate is public. When your estate goes into probate, anyone can find out what assets you left behind and who inherited them. This leaves your estate open to challenges and objections by those who would disagree with how your estate was distributed.
Probate is also time consuming. It takes an average of 6 to 9 months to probate an estate. In larger or more complicated estates, the process could take years. During this time your heirs are not able to gain access to the assets you left behind.