Probate is the court-supervised process of recognizing your will and appointing an executor who will control your estate. It varies from state to state, but the California probate process is public, time-consuming and expensive. All property going through probate is public record, so everyone will know all of the personal details of your estate and exactly what your heirs and beneficiaries receive. In addition, California imposes a graduated probate fee starting at 4% of the value of the assets.