How to Title Real Estate to Avoid Probate
There are several types of property ownership that avoid probate:
1. Joint Tenancy, with Right of Survivorship
Property owned by two or more individuals. Upon the death of one owner, property ownership is automatically transferred to the other owner. (If more than two, the ownership interest of the deceased is equally divided among the remaining owners.) Property owned in this manner does not become a part of your estate.
2. Tenancy by the Entirety
Property owned by husband and wife. Upon the death of a spouse, ownership automatically vests in the remaining spouse. Property owned in this manner does not become a part of your estate.
3. Community Property
Property ownership that is split in half between a husband and wife simply by reason of them being married. State statutes govern community property laws.
Property that is given away in the form of gifts is no longer a part of your estate and probate can not be assessed on such property. Gift taxes can be assessed but spouses are exempt. There is an annual and lifetime maximum per other grantees.