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What are the alternatives to probate?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2021 | Firm News

Probate is sometimes a necessary process to ensure your last wishes come to fruition. However, not every estate needs to go through it.

The Judicial Branch of California explains you may bypass the probate process in several different ways. You can also ensure certain assets do not go through probate using the same methods.

Survivorship rights

When you own property jointly with someone else, you can set it up so that the property transfers upon your death to the other owner or owners. Because you set this up within the terms of the ownership rights, it happens automatically when you die without the need for the court to interfere.

Another similar option is a transfer on a death deed. This will transfer the property to whomever you desire upon your death without court involvement.


If you have accounts that require naming a beneficiary, those will transfer easily when you die. The naming of the beneficiary is a legal process on its own that guarantees the person you name will receive the asset. There is no need for the court to do anything.


If you use trusts, you have already handled the legal aspects of transferring the assets. The court will have nothing to do with anything in a trust because it all happens automatically.

Keep in mind, you need to ensure you have these things set up prior to your death. Once you die, the only control you have over your estate is through an estate plan with legal documents that the court will have to review for validity.