Is the same process in place if you use a trust instead of a will?
No, the estate of administration process is different when a trust has been established. A person or entity that acts as the administrator is the trustee rather than the executor.
We say “entity” because people will sometimes use a professional fiduciary like a trust company or the trust department of the bank.
The trust that is most commonly utilized is the revocable living trust. If you were to create this type of trust, you would act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are living.
In the trust declaration, you would name a trustee to succeed you, and your heirs would be the beneficiaries. You would leave instructions with regard to the way that you want the assets to be transferred to the beneficiaries after you are gone.
When the time comes, the trustee would distribute assets to the beneficiaries. The probate court would not be involved.