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Blog: The Difference Between Probate And Non-Probate Assets

October 20, 2014

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When someone dies, their property will pass either through the court process known as “probate” or will bypass the process and be distributed directly to designated beneficiaries.  Probate assets are any assets solely owned by the deceased individual and often include: real property (not in joint tenancy), personal property (e.g. jewelry, furniture, and vehicles), and bank accounts.  Non-probate assets include property and bank accounts owned in joint tenancy, property held in a trust, and life insurance, investment accounts, and retirement accounts that have designated an individual as the beneficiary.

After death, probate assets are distributed as described in the individual’s last will and testament, or if there is no will, the assets will be distributed pursuant to the rules of intestate succession according to the laws of the state where the individual’s will is submitted to the court for probate.  Non-probate assets can be distributed directly to the named beneficiaries shortly after the individual dies.

 This blog post is authored by Jacob Natwick and meant for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to provide legal advice in any particular circumstance or factual situation.  You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action regarding the information contained herein.  

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