An alternative to having your estate go through the probate process through the court system is through the use of a revocable trust. Sometimes also called a "living trust" or "inter vivos trust", this form of an estate plan, if properly set up, can remove the necessity of going through the probate process.
A revocable trust acts as a will substitute by providing for the terms of distribution of your assets upon your death. In addition, a trustee can administer your assets during you life if you are unable to do so, operating much as a power of attorney.
A trust may or not be suited for your situation. For more information. Check out this article for more information on living trusts.