Probate assets?

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Probate assets, such as insurance policies and bank accounts, must go through probate before ownership can pass to family members. Other assets, such as those held in trust, are considered non-probate assets. It is important to consult legal professionals about specific circumstances.

Probate assets are any assets related to an estate that are not specifically bequeathed to a beneficiary. In order for ownership of assets to pass to family members, those assets must first go through probate, conducted under the auspices of a probate court having jurisdiction in the area where the deceased maintained a permanent residence. Several types of estate assets may be subject to probate actions, depending on the laws that apply in the place where the will is ultimately made.

One of the most common examples of probate assets are insurance policies in which the deceased’s estate is named as the beneficiary of those policies. Before the insurance companies will honor the terms of the policy, the court must recognize the estate administrator as authorized to receive those funds and add them to the estate according to the instructions left by the deceased. The same is true for any bank or brokerage account where the estate is named as the beneficiary. In jurisdictions where community property laws apply, the court may order that half the value of those assets be sent to a surviving spouse or legally recognized partner.

In situations where the deceased was a co-owner of a given asset, that part of the property must also be proven before it is transferred to the estate or another party as determined by the court. With probate assets of this type, any provisions within the ownership agreement pertaining to survivability of the property upon the death of one of the owners are generally considered binding, and the court will order the asset to be processed in accordance with those provisions.

There are several other types of probate assets that require the attention of a probate court. Personal property of the deceased that is not specifically earmarked for a beneficiary, as well as the balance in any type of retirement fund, such as an Individual Retirement Account or Keogh Plan where the estate is named as the recipient, will require some form of probate action. This is in contrast to assets that are considered non-probate assets, such as a bank account held in trust for a minor child or investments that are bequeathed to a specific charity. Since probate laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is important to consult with legal professionals about the exact circumstances that may require a probate court to act before any assets belonging to a recently deceased person can be awarded to family members or others. people of interest

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