Does a Will Alone Avoid Probate?

No. One of the misnomers we see in estate planning is I have a will, so I don’t have to go through prob probate. That’s not entirely true. Having a will gives instructions to the probate court on what you want to have done and allows the probate court to move quicker because you have identified the beneficiaries, but it doesn’t mean that you avoid probate altogether. The ways that you avoid probate are by having named designees on accounts, either with joint tendency with rights of survivorship, which we often see on real estate, or then with transfer on death. Using these designations allow those items pass prior to probate and pass immediately upon death. These designations allow the assets to avoid the probate process, but having a will alone doesn’t help you avoid probate. That’s why estate planning requires more than just a will, if that is one of your goals is to avoid probate.

Want to chat?

Let's get a short consultation on our calendars.

Share This Post: