Having a Will does not avoid probate!

When asked why they want have a Will, many people tell me it is because they want to avoid probate.  A Will, however, never avoids probate. It only becomes effective once you have died and a probate estate has been opened with the Probate Court. The Will then serves as your instructions to the Court as to how you want your estate distributed.

Not everyone needs to avoid probate. However, if you want to avoid probate you need to do something other than having a Will.