Matt Fryar explains how beneficiary designations may be able to help you avoid probate.
Almost all types of property -- houses, cars, bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts, life insurance -- can have a beneficiary named to them. When you die, the named beneficiary is entitled to receive that asset without having to go through probate. Beneficiary designations, however, do not allow you to delay distribution to your heirs or otherwise structure the payment of that asset. It is important to set up an estate plan that allows you to meet all of your goals!