Avoiding probate: How to do it (and why)
Abstract: Few estate planning subjects are as misunderstood as probate. But circumventing the probate process is usually a good idea. This article explains why, and discusses tools one can use to avoid (or minimize) probate, such as “pay on death” (POD) or “transfer on death” (TOD) designations. It also explains how, for larger, more complicated estates, a revocable trust (sometimes called a living trust) is generally the most effective tool for avoiding probate.