Which Assets Are Subject To Probate?

In case the subject of probate is new to you, here is the basic framework. The court distributes some assets and property, and this process of posthumous distribution is called probate. Other assets go directly to the beneficiaries of an estate, without any involvement from the court, and these are called “non-probate assets.” A Cincinnati probate attorney can help you structure your estate to take these concerns into account.

Parts of the probate process include establishing a last Will and testament, filing that paperwork, designating an executor of the Will, and then collecting all the assets of the estate. The executor must also pay the bills associated with the estate, file taxes, distribute assets to the designated beneficiaries, and then file an account.

Since the job of the executor involves a lot of time and effort, some people try to skip probate altogether, and move to make all of their distributable assets be non-probate assets.

Probate Assets

Non-probate assets are generally:

  • Property held in a trust
  • Assets held in retirement accounts
  • Accounts, such as brokerage or life insurance accounts, that list a beneficiary who is not the decedent
  • Bank accounts held mutually with beneficiaries that are listed as transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD)

Probate assets are most often:

  • Property held in the decedent’s name, or with the decedent listed as a tenant in common
  • Furniture, vehicles, jewelry, and other personal property
  • Accounts, such as brokerage or life insurance accounts, that list the decedent or the decedent’s estate as the beneficiary
  • Bank account held in the decedent’s name

Need help with Estate Planning details that work for you and your situation? Contact our Montgomery Ohio based law firm today.