One alternative that also avoids probate is to own property in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Property held in joint tenancy automatically passes to the surviving owner upon the death of the first owner. Downfalls to titling property in joint tenancy include the possibility of an immediate and taxable gift, a potential future income tax liability to the recipient because the property will not receive a step-up in income tax basis, and the ability of the recipient’s creditors, such as a divorcing spouse, to reach the asset and potentially force the sale of the property. Also, if an intended recipient dies before you, then probate will still be necessary, and you may inadvertently disinherit children of the predeceased recipient. Another alternative is to designate a beneficiary on each asset by beneficiary designation or “pay on death” document. This option has many of the risks identified with joint tenancy. In summary, there is no substitute for a revocable trust.