In a case involving a small estate with assets that are easy to liquidate and beneficiaries that get along, probate can be an inconvenient process but relatively painless. When an estate plan is more complex, assets that are harder to liquidate and the beneficiaries are at each other's throats, probate can the legal and financial equivalent to root canal without anesthetic—only worse, since it can go on for years. If you're asking yourself, why is probate so painful? Well, let me provide a general overview of the process and you can decide for yourself if it's something you want your loved ones to go through after you leave this Earth. If you want to avoid probate, there many strategy that can be used to eliminate probate entirely or, at least, minimize the pain associated with probate.