You can avoid assets going through probate in two ways. The first is to designate a beneficiary for the account. This works well for retirement accounts, insurance policies, and many other types of accounts. That money is available to the beneficiary without them having to do anything more than provide your death certificate. The second method is to use a trust. Anything inside a trust is distributed in private according to the rules of the trust, rather than through the public process of probate. While a trust is more expensive than a will, the total cost of using a trust to pass on assets is often much less once you consider the costs of probate.