What is the difference between probate and non-probate assets in terms of wills and estates?

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    3 Responses to What is the difference between probate and non-probate assets in terms of wills and estates?

    1. Eggchick says:

      Most estates include probate assets and non-probate assets. Non-probate assets include:

      -Assets held in a revocable or irrevocable living trust.
      -Assets given outright to your surviving spouse or others during life.
      -Proceeds of an insurance policy where beneficiaries are named.
      -Balances of retirement plans, Individual Retirement Accounts or Keogh accounts which are payable to designated beneficiaries.
      -Property owned jointly with "rights of survivorship" which passes directly to the co-owner (such as a house in joint tenancy).
      -Accounts that have been designated "POD" (pay on death).

      Title to these non-probate assets passes automatically at death without any court proceeding. While ownership transfers automatically, certain steps may be necessary before the property is released to the new owner(s). A certified copy of the death certificate is required. Additional documentation may be required as well, depending on the asset.

      Probate assets are those owned in your own name which require some intervention by the court to determine where the assets should go (stock or bonds, for example).

    2. alexjoss says:

      non-probate assets are things like life insurance policies, right-to- survivorship agreements on bank accounts, trusts.

    3. wizjp says:

      Real estate held as joint tenants with right of survivorship can pass outside of probate without being subject to estate taxes or terms of a will

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