What Assets are Probate Assets?

Assets that the decedent owned in his or her name only at time of death are probate assets. Assets that were owned by the decedent and another person and lacked any stated provision for ownership after death are also considered probate assets. For example, a bank account or investment account that is only in the name of the decedent is a probate asset. If the account is owned by the decedent and is payable on death or transferable on death, or is held with rights of survivorship, it is not a probate asset.

Assets include real property and personal property. Any real estate that is titled in only the name of the decedent or in the name of the decedent and other person as “tenants in common” is a probate asset. If the real estate is titled in the name of the decedent and another person as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship,” it is not a probate asset. Additionally, a life insurance policy or retirement account that is payable to a specific beneficiary is not a probate asset. But, if the life insurance policy or retirement account does not identify a beneficiary or the beneficiary died prior to the decedent, it may be a probate asset. Generally, probate assets are those assets which are owned solely in the name of the decedent.

Comments are closed.