Probate, it is something so many people strive to avoid. Whether it is dumping everything into a trust or placing beneficiary forms on all of their assets, some people become very diligent about making sure nothing passes through the probate court.
The downside....one still dies with debts. And how will those be paid if there is no probate. A properly drafted and funded trust would take care of this issue, but a do-it-yourself patch work quilt approach may leave gaps. As it did for the family in my office today.
The recently deceased parent title property jointly with children. The various life insurance policies had beneficiary forms. But probate will likely occur to create a neat and clean manner to sell vehicles, pay funeral bills, medical bills, cell phone, bills.
In the end, organization saves more time and money than whether something is probate or not. We just scratched the surface on the number of phone calls we have to make to track down all of the parents' assets. This is going to take time, and cost money.
So, if you want to save your children hassle upon your death, organize and leave clear notes. It will pay off in the end.
Remember, a blog is not an attorney. Please consult a lawyer in your state for advice specific to your situation.