If a deceased person has transferred all of his or her assets to a living trust, a probate can be avoided in most instances. Administration of the trust will involve many of the same steps required by a probate. All debts of the deceased person must be paid, all necessary tax returns filed, and all trust assets prepared for distribution to those who are named as beneficiaries in the trust instrument. The existence of a trust by itself does not eliminate or minimize inheritance taxes in the absence of other tax planning that has been incorporated into the planning.
Administration of a living trust can be less expensive and more streamlined than a probate proceeding. But, it occurs outside the supervision of a probate court and there is no court judgment at the end that approves the administrative process.