One of the most frequent questions addressed to estate planning attorneys is how to avoid probate, according to Forbes in "Probate, Wills, Executors: Your Estate Planning Questions Answered."
Probate, which is actually just the type of court where a will or estate is handled, can be a relatively simple process, especially with the assistance of an estate planning attorney. However, there are times when it can be long and expensive. Therefore, desires to want to avoid it are not unjustified.
The key is to have an estate plan that utilizes instruments that do not have to go through probate. The most typical of these instruments are trusts, but there are other more complex legal instruments that can also be used.
However, even the most airtight probate avoidance estate plan might have to go through the probate process briefly.
All estate plans should have at least a simple pour-over will that directs any unaccounted for assets into a previously created trust.
If there are enough unaccounted for assets, they will need to go through probate. However, the process should be quick and easy.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an effective estate plan for your unique circumstances that has a good chance of going smoothly through probate.
Reference: Forbes (April 7, 2017) "Probate, Wills, Executors: Your Estate Planning Questions Answered."