All assets owned by the decedent in the decedents’ name alone, not in joint tenancy, in trust or with a beneficiary designation, are subject to probate administration upon decedent’s death. Real and personal property owned as a joint tenant pass to the surviving co-owners without going through probate. Other types of benefits, such as a life insurance policy or annuity payable directly to a named beneficiary bypass probate. Money from IRAs, Keoghs, and 401(k) accounts transfer automatically, outside probate, to the persons named as beneficiaries. Bank accounts that are set up as payable-on-death account (POD for short) or an “in trust for” account (a “Totten Trust”) with a named beneficiary also pass to that beneficiary without probate. If a living trust holds legal title to some of your property then the assets held by the living trust also passes to the beneficiaries without probate. (The trust is a legal entity which survives you after your death.)
What assets are subject to probate administration?
Mar 20, 2020