How can I avoid probate?

Phoenix, AZ estate planning attorney Chikk Myers talks about setting up beneficiaries.

Contact Chikk Myers

Phone: (602) 234-1178


There are a number of ways you can avoid probate; the most typical way is by putting all your significant assets in a trust to the extent appropriate but there are also other vehicles. You could hold property as joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, passes by operation of law. You could have a beneficiary deed so that upon your death, title to real estate passes to the designated beneficiary on the face of the deed and avoids probate. You could have POD on bank accounts, payable upon death, that passes by operation of law and does not go through probate. You could have designated beneficiaries on life insurance, you can have designated beneficiaries on your IRA but you need to be careful to make sure you’ve designated both primary and contingent beneficiaries in case something happens to the primary beneficiary. And also, be aware there are certain adverse tax consequences if you don’t property designate those beneficiaries. A spouse, generally has to be designated as a primary beneficiary of any qualified retirement benefits. I’m talking about, for example, 401k plan. That’s not necessarily true with an IRA depending on the state law.