Luckily, there are simple and effective ways to completely avoid probate. Some are so simple that they can be taken care of in the time it takes to open a bank account-and most of them won't cost you a penny.
With 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, learn how to take advantage of eight important -- and often overlooked -- probate-avoidance strategies:
set up payable-on-death bank accounts
name a beneficiary for retirement accounts
register stocks & bonds, and vehicles, in transfer-on-death forms
hold property in joint ownership
take advantage of special procedures for small estates
create a living trust
give away property now Updated state-by-state charts show you which probate-avoidance techniques are available where you live. 8 Ways to Avoid Probate also contains detailed examples of how combining probate-avoidance methods can work for you in different stages of your life.