13th May 2013
The best way to avoid probate in California is through a living trust.
But, there are other ways to avoid probate as well. Joint tenancy ownership avoids probate as long as one or more of the joint tenants are surviving.
Bank accounts set up as “pay on death” (POD) accounts, and investment brokerage accounts set up as “transfer on death” (TOD) accounts will also avoid probate.
Death benefits from life insurance, annuities, and qualified retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401ks will also avoid probate.
Dwight Edward Tompkins,
Orange County Estate Planning Attorney.