Many people dread the word "probate" because it is mainly associated with handing over one's estate to the state. If you are an executor of an estate, it is crucial to determine whether probate is the necessary course of action. You should consult your probate lawyer on issues regarding probate. Ask your probate law attorney these questions regarding probate.

What Assets Do Not Go Through Probate?

There are three main types of property that are not subject to probate. These include designated beneficiary assets, trusts, and jointly owned property.

A designated beneficiary refers to anyone chosen to inherit an estate owner's assets. In many cases, these assets are a life insurance policy, money, or a bank account. When the estate owner dies, these assets are then transferred to the designated beneficiary. 

Trusts are mainly designed to avoid the probate process by allowing those you care for to inherit from you. Some of the main types of trusts include revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and charitable trusts. A revocable trust can be changed or terminated during the estate owner's lifetime. The reverse is true for an irrevocable trust. A charitable trust is meant to benefit a designated beneficiary and a specific charity.

With jointly owned property, the ownership of assets or property passes to the surviving owner when the co-owner dies. The right of survivorship is established through community property, joint tenancy, and tenancy by the entirety.

What Assets Go Through Probate?

Probate is necessary for assets owned in the name of the deceased person. Therefore, if your estate, car, or any other significant asset only bears your name, it will go through probate when you die. You should ensure you consult your probate lawyer to make arrangements for the change of title to your property to avoid the probate process.

Property classified as "tenants in common" is also subject to probate. For example, if a deceased person owns a piece of property with their sibling or another relative. In such cases, the deceased's share of this property will be subject to probate.

In Conclusion

If a property is subject to probate, the executor named in the will is responsible for opening a probate case in court. If you have no will or executor, the probate court appoints someone to shepherd the probate proceedings. In each of these scenarios, the executor can hire a probate lawyer to help them with the case. It is essential to consult your lawyer to help you with avoiding probate, drafting a will, and naming an executor.

Keep these tips in mind when researching probate.