A simple and often under-utilized tool to avoid probate of a decedent's estate in California when a person does not want to use a trust is to do so by way of establishing transfer on death beneficiary designations for one's accounts and property. California allows a transfer on death transfer for real property as well as bank accounts and various brokerage accounts. This is an often under-utilized or ignored tool for many people. However, as with everything, there are pros and cons. To best understand those pros and cons a consumer should contact an attorney experienced in probate law.