When you think about your estate going through probate, you may wonder what it means for your property. Probate is the procedure used by the court to administer the estate (i.e. pay creditors and locate assets) of a deceased person, including distributing his or her assets as directed by a will or under the law.
So, what constitutes probate property? Any assets held solely in the name of the decedent are considered property of the probate estate. Common examples of probate property include:
- Real property (houses, commercial property, land, rental property)
- Cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, and motorcycles
- Bank accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Proceeds from a life insurance policy (if payable to the decedent or his/her estate)
- Any other personal or real property
The above list is not exhaustive and there could be a variety of other types of assets that could be included in your probate case. Thus, it may be easier to understand the types of assets that will not be included in a probate action such as:
- Property the decedent owned jointly with another party
- Assets where there is a designated beneficiary upon death such as life insurance and retirement assets
- Pay-on-Death or Transfer-on-Death accounts
- Life estate assets of the decedent
Again, this list is not exhaustive. In sum, however, assets that are not included in the probate process are those that no longer belong to the decedent at the time of his or her death because they transferred by operation of a contract or under the law.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.