Definition - What does Will Substitute mean?
Will substitutes are alternative vehicles to a will for passing along property after one's death. A will substitute includes things like trusts, annuity contracts and employee benefit plans.
In the context of the law, will substitutes are exempt from probate court because they are not a part of the will, and because ownership is technically passed on during the life of the original owner.
Justipedia explains Will Substitute
Probate court can often be time-consuming and can involve following a lot of legal protocols. Also, items passed from one person to another in a will can be subject to taxes such as the estate tax that will substitutes may be exempt from. This is why many people choose to use will substitutes as a way to avoid the inconveniences that can sometimes come with wills. However, in order to arrange will substitutes, different legal actions may have to be taken. For example, setting up a trust can involve a lawyer's services, the signing of legal contracts, etc.