Probate is the legal process of settling an estate after the death of an individual. Probate court in most counties supervises the division of assets according to the instructions in a will or in the absence of a will as required by state law. An attorney represents the estate and seeks a settlement that is approved by the court.
In the case of a trust, the instructions of the trust are carried out without taking the estate to probate. Only assets not properly titled to the trust must be probated.