Not all assets are subject to probate. In general, assets that have a designated beneficiary or that are jointly owned with the right of survivorship are not subject to probate. Here are some examples of assets that may be exempt from probate:
- Assets held in a living trust: Assets that have been transferred to a living trust during the deceased person’s lifetime are typically exempt from probate.
- Retirement accounts: Assets in retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, typically have designated beneficiaries and are not subject to probate.
- Life insurance policies: Life insurance policies typically have designated beneficiaries and are not subject to probate.
- Jointly held property: Property that is owned jointly with the right of survivorship, such as a home or bank account, will typically pass to the surviving owner and is not subject to probate.
- Payable-on-death accounts: Bank accounts and other financial assets that have a designated beneficiary, known as a payable-on-death (POD) account, are not subject to probate.
It’s important to note that the laws governing probate and estate planning can vary by state, so it’s a good idea to work with an experienced probate attorney to ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.