One of the simplest method of avoiding probate is to have co-ownership. In Ohio (like most other states,) there are several ways in which two or more individuals may own assets.
The co-ownership can either be tenancy in common or joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. These ownership methods are similar in that each owner has the right to the use and enjoy the property during the lifetime of the co-owners. Upon death, the ownership interest of the individual in a tenancy in common situation is a “probate asset” which would be administered through probate court and distributed to beneficiaries pursuant to the provisions of the individual’s Last Will and Testament or the laws of Descent and Distribution. In the case of the joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, the ownership interest of the first to die immediately goes to the survivor and is not subject to probate administration. Hence, it “avoids probate”.