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I know the IRAs don't go through probate, but I thought pretty much everything else does, unless it is in a trust.


Not at all. You can have a "Transfer on Death" agreement with a brokerage firm that avoids probate on a taxable account. Similarly, you can title a bank CD as "John Doe, payable on death (POD) to Mary Smith" to avoid probate on that. Anything in your will goes through probate, but the idea is to transfer as much as possible outside of the will.

Here's the Transfer on Death agreement at Vanguard.

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