What About Avoiding Probate With Your Estate Plans?

19 December 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


Avoiding probate is a common theme when estate planning. The term "avoiding probate" doesn't mean you can completely avoid probate, however. It really means that you can do things to keep a lot, if not all, of your property out of the probate process. With that in mind, learn how simple it can be to keep estate property away from the probate court's grasp. 

Ways to Keep Property Out of Probate

The below tips are but a sample of the methods that work to keep your property out of the hands of your county probate court. Speak to your estate planning attorney to find out more about the below ways and others. If done properly and with the help of an estate lawyer, your survivors won't need to wait until probate court is over to deal with the disposition of the estate. Many of the methods explained below are quick, simple, and private. 

Account Designations

The bank accounts owned by the deceased will be frozen after their death. That leaves survivors without access to funds that might be needed for expenses. However, a simple document can allow the people named to take control of the bank account upon presentation of the death certificate. Payable-on-death designations on bank and savings accounts allow the owner of the account to designate how the funds in the account are to be distributed.

Along those same lines, certain investment accounts can be treated the same way. Stocks, bonds, money market accounts, and other investment vehicles may be designated as transfer-on-death. When the owner of the account passes away, new accounts are set up under the name of the designated persons.

Deeds and Titles

Real estate is known to be one of the most valuable when it comes to estate property. That home doesn't have to go through probate, though. Deeds can be altered so that someone else automatically becomes the owner of the home once the main owner passes away. Several ways of adjusting deeds exist so speak to an estate lawyer to find out more.  The same thing can happen with vehicle titles in some cases.


A trust can handle anything a will can and do a much better job of it. Revocable trusts are the easiest type of trust to use for most people but speak to your lawyer to find out about irrevocable trusts too. Trusts are flexible, private, and any property contained within the trust does not need to be probated.

To find out more about any of the above and more, speak to an estate attorney.