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What are my options for avoiding probate?

There are multiple actions a person can take to avoid probate. The benefit of doing so is that a person avoids the length of the probate process and avoids the costs and attorney’s fees associated with probate. One of the ways is through joint ownership of financial accounts with a right of survivorship designation. For example, if a husband and wife own a joint account with a right of survivorship designation, the bank account will automatically pass to the surviving spouse upon the death of the other spouse without the necessity of probate. In addition, all accounts that have a beneficiary designation, such as life insurance or a retirement account, automatically pass to the beneficiary designated by the decedent. The final and most common way to avoid probate, is to create a revocable trust to hold and administer all the property of a person. Once that person passes away, the trust is administered and the property distributed according to the terms of the trust, rather than the probate statutes and court.

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