Accounts that have beneficiary designations will pass outside of the Probate Court system. These assets will be transferred to the beneficiaries listed. It is critical that you check your beneficiary designations regularly to ensure that these assets will be transferred to the people that you intend. Assets held in Joint Tenancy with another individual will be transferred automatically to that person upon your death, without going through a probate court. However, this can be a very risky and ineffective estate planning device. Please see our discussion “Is joint tenancy an acceptable substitution for a Will or a good way to avoid probate?”