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Probate and Non-Probate Assets

Bronx estate planning attorneys

As you discuss your plans with Bronx estate planning attorneys, the topic of probate assets and non-probate assets may arise. It is important that you know how these two classifications differ so that your attorney can better effectuate your goals.

Probate Assets

Your Bronx estate planning attorneys will explain that probate assets are usually dealt with through the probate process because they are titled in the decedent’s name. They may be listed as part of the decedent’s will, or they may mass by the laws of intestacy if the decedent didn’t make a will. An exception to this rule is a protected homestead. Even though this is not technically a probate asset, it is usually provided for under the provisions of a will. If there is not a right of survivorship attached to the asset, then real property, tangible personal property, and automobiles will typically be considered probate assets.

As long as there is not a payable on death designation, financial accounts are also commonly considered probate assets; this includes checking accounts, saving accounts, stocks, bonds, CDs, and brokerage accounts. Additionally, money that is owed to the decedent, such as paychecks, proceeds from a pending lawsuit, refund checks, or royalties derived from intellectual property are other forms of probate assets.

Non-Probate Assets

When explaining non-probate assets, your Bronx estate planning lawyers will note that they are those that do not pass under the terms of a will and often include a beneficiary designation form. For example, life insurance policies and retirement accounts are common non-probate assets. Additionally, property that is owned with a right of survivorship, such as real property or joint bank accounts, typically passes outside of the probate process. Trusts can also be used to avoid the probate process.

Benefits of Using Non-Probate Assets

Using non-probate assets allows you to transfer assets directly to certain beneficiaries without having to wait for a court to permit the transfer. This provides funds and assets more quickly to the named individuals. Additionally, the transfer is more private than one provided for under a will.

If you would like more information on this topic, contact Evan Rogers at 718-994-1640.


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