Probate in Texas is simple and cost-effective.  However, there are ways to avoid probate.  Bottom of Form

An easy way to avoid probate is to add a POD (payable on death) or TOD (transfer on death) designation to bank accounts, IRA or other financial accounts.  This is done through a beneficiary designation at the financial institution.  Retirement accounts are also often beneficiary designated accounts.  These accounts pass outside of probate so long as there is a beneficiary listed on the accounts.


If you die without a will, your assets will pass according to Texas intestate succession laws.  However, some assets may not require probate.

Here are some examples and property that may help to avoid probate:

  • property you’ve transferred to a living trust
  • life insurance proceeds with a named beneficiary
  • funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account with a named beneficiary
  • securities held in a transfer-on-death account
  • real estate for which you have a transfer on death deed
  • vehicles for which you have a transfer on death registration.  An owner or joint owners may designate a beneficiary to whom interest in the motor vehicle transfers upon the death of the owner or last surviving owner. A designated beneficiary has no interest in a motor vehicle until the owner’s (or last surviving owner’s) death
  • payable-on-death bank accounts


Contact Cynthia Fronterhouse to discuss probate.  Nimmons & Fronterhouse offers flat fees for many probate matters.