Non-Probate Assets Explained: What Are Non-Probate Assets?

Non-Probate Assets Explained: What Are Non-Probate Assets?

Many people have confusion about the probate process, which can make it easy to make mistakes that affect your estate and how your belongings are passed on to your beneficiaries. Understanding the main differences between probate and non-probate assets is essential to ensure you have more control over your estate and it gets into the right hands. As you work closely with a legal professional, there are a few guidelines that determine what is considered to be non-probate assets after you pass away.

What are Non-Probate Assets?

Non-probate assets are anything that is shared between two or more people with rights of survivorship. It’s also any assets that have beneficiary designations, including life insurance policies, IRAs, and 401(s) unless the beneficiary is named as the estate. The surviving owner immediately receives these assets and doesn’t have to wait for them to go through the court process. Bank accounts and vehicles are often jointly held and go outside of the probate process and head directly to the joint owner.

Anything that is only in your name will be required to go through the courts and is considered to be a probate asset. This also includes any property that is held in the name of the trust.

Advantages of Non-Probate Assets?

Non-probate assets are immediately transferred without the need of public proceedings, which offers a higher level of privacy. This also saves a significant amount of time and prevents your beneficiaries or heirs from waiting several months to collect the assets from your estate. The items are transferred upon death after the death certificate is provided without additional steps required.

Non-probate transfers are not distributed based on the court’s decision and allow you to save your beneficiaries money as they attempt to collect what you’ve left behind.

Understanding which items are considered to be non-probate assets can offer clarity and help your beneficiaries avoid losing what you’ve left behind after you pass away. You can have peace of mind knowing your assets are transferred correctly while working with a legal professional who can guide you in the right direction and inform you of your rights.