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Probate is a public court proceeding that will take at least six months, but sometimes it goes on for years. Probate lets everyone know exactly how much (in assets) you have in your estate and who will inherit those assets. It requires payment of court filing fees, newspaper notices to the public, and attorney fees. Probate usually costs much more than it costs to have a Will or Trust prepared. If you pass away with a Will or without a Will (intestate succession), your Estate will go through Probate. Probate can be avoided by using probate substitutes or through establishing a Trust and transferring your assets into your Trust.