Avoiding Probate With Joint Ownership
If you own valuable assets with someone else--your spouse, for example--it's easy to avoid probate at the death of the first co-owner. Depending on your state's laws and your family situation, you may want to hold title to the property as "joint tenants," "tenants by the entirety" or "survivorship community property." With any of those options, when one owner dies, ownership passes automatically to the surviving owner.
The terminology may be confusing, but holding title in one of these probate-avoiding ways is usually just a matter of filling out the right paperwork. And doing so will save your family the hassle and expense of probate.