Does all property go through probate?

No. Whether certain property has to go through probate depends on a number of factors that are specific to the estate.

Sometimes Probate Can Be Avoided

Some common examples of property that can avoid probate include:

  • Property that was owned in joint tenancy with someone else.
  • Property that was in a living trust.
  • Property that was held in a revocable living trust.
  • Property that was in an account that had a payable-on-death beneficiary named to it.
  • When the total value of the estate does not meet the minimum threshold for probate court.

Of course, with the exception of the estate’s value, these things must be established by the creator of the estate before his death. As a potential beneficiary, a trustee, or an executor, it is important to recognize what should go through probate, and what shouldn’t. This makes it easier to take the necessary actions to administer the estate fairly and quickly.

Probate Isn’t Something to Fear

Sometimes, probate court is unavoidable and that is okay. Certain estate plans were not created with the intent to avoid probate, but instead the wishes of the decedent were better accomplished with some assets passing through probate court.

Accordingly, if you are the administrator or executor of an estate that needs to go through probate—then it is important to take the time to learn the rules. You need to know what to do and when to do it, but you don’t need to do everything alone. Instead, you have the right to contact an estate planning lawyer for help and to make sure that everything is done in the best interest of the estate. To learn more, please fill out our online contact form today and we will contact you directly to talk about the specific issues that you face.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm