Do You Own Any Probate Assets?

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When a deceased person's estate owns certain types of assets, called probate assets, the estate will be subject to a probate court proceeding in order to take the probate assets out of the deceased person's name and transfer them into the names of the rightful heirs. Below is a description of the three different types of probate assets.


1. Individual assets.


Individual assets include all property titled in the decedent's sole name, without any other owners or a payable on death or similar type of beneficiary designation. Types of assets that can be titled this way include bank accounts; investment accounts; stocks and bonds; cars, boats, scooters and airplanes; business interests; and real estate.More »


2. Tenants in common property.


Tenant in common assets include all property titled in the decedent's individual name as a tenant in common with one or more other owners where each owns a percentage of the property (such as 80% and 20% or 50% and 50%). Types of assets that can be titled this way include bank accounts; investment accounts; stocks and bonds; cars, boats, scooters and airplanes; business interests; and real estate.

Note: If the decedent retitled their tenant in common interest into the name of their Revocable Living Trust prior to death, then this has converted the tenant in common interest into a non probate asset that won't be subject to a probate court proceeding.More »


3. Beneficiary assets with predeceased beneficiaries or no designated beneficiary.


Beneficiary assets include a payable on death or similar type of account; a Health Savings or Medical Savings Account; a life estate; a life insurance policy; a retirement account, including an IRA or and 401(k); or an annuity, where all of the named beneficiaries of the account or policy have predeceased the decedent, or where the decedent failed to name any beneficiaries at all.More »
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