So, to avoid probate, should the accounts be in both their names or one name with the other as beneficiary?To avoid probate, the assets should be JTWROS. Those assets will pass outside of probate, though they are still considered part of the taxable estate.If your mother will have to worry about things like estate taxes, then she should speak with an estate planning attorney and learn about things like trusts. When there are estate tax issues, it can make sense to create and fund trusts to preserve the lifetime exemption of both spouses so that when the remainder passes to the children, there will be fewer estate taxes due.
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