Unfortunately, the idea of avoiding probate with its attendant ills, has been replaced by the potential for even more complicated and costly litigation. If family members are going to fight, they will fight regardless of the formalities of the structure of the estate. In this regard, trusts have been touted as the way to avoid probate. This may be correct in some limited cases, but in reality, trusts are used more as tax planning devices rather than mere probate avoidance devices. Genealogists need to know that trusts have been in existence for hundreds of years.