Can you avoid probate?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2020 | Probate & Estate Administration |

People often put probate in a bad light, but it can be beneficial in many situations. However, if you want to avoid probate because you want your family to get the inheritance quickly or you do not want your business to become public record, then there are some things that you can do to try to avoid probate.

You should note that only certain assets go to probate because they require the court to ensure they get to the proper heir. During probate, the court makes sure your assets get to the proper person while also ensuring your representative pays your debts and finalizes all of your financial situations. There are many types of assets that do not have to go through the process.

Living trust

Forbes explains one option is to put your assets in a trust. When you create a trust, you are already handling the duties that the probate would handle. You ensure that the asset is ready to transfer upon your death and give specific, legally-binding instructions on how to transfer the trust assets upon your death.

Joint ownership

If you and another both own an asset, then when you die, that other person becomes the owner automatically. You must ensure the title to the property contains both of your names for this to work.


An account where you name a beneficiary is a transfer-upon-death account. If there is a beneficiary, then you have already handled the duties the court would during probate, so there is no need to probate these assets. You can list beneficiaries for many types of financial accounts, including some bank accounts.