Does All Property Have To Go Through Probate?

Real and personal property owned as a joint tenants passes to the surviving co-owners without going through probate.

Other types of benefits, such as life insurance or annuities payable directly to a named beneficiary bypass probate. Money from IRAs, Keoghs, and 401(k) accounts transfer automatically, outside probate, to the persons named as beneficiaries. Bank accounts that are set up as payable-on-death account (POD for short) or an "in trust for" account with a named beneficiary also pass to that beneficiary without probate.

If a Living Trust holds legal title to property, that also passes to the beneficiaries without probate. (The Trust is a legal entity which survives you after your death.)