Ever wonder what to do with your stocks? Some people are meticulous in ensuring that every asset they own will avoid probate. It's easy to name a beneficiary for stocks in the event of your death.
Almost every state has adopted a law (the Uniform Transfer-on-Death Securities Registration Act) that permit clients to name someone to inherit their stocks, bonds or brokerage accounts without probate. See California Probate Code Section 5500 et. seq.
It works very much like a payable-on-death bank account.
When registering ownership, either with the stockbroker or the company itself, a request is made to take ownership in what is called "beneficiary form." When the papers that show ownership are issued, they will also show the name of designated beneficiary.
After death, the beneficiary can claim the securities without probate by providing proof of death and some identification to the appropriate company to reissue the stock in the name of the new beneficiary.