Perhaps a loved one named you her or his probate administrator. You want to prepare for the role, which involves distributing assets. Which assets should you expect to go through the probate process before they continue to heirs?
AARP explains which assets often quality for probate court. Use their findings to create a timeline for taking care of your loved one’s heirs and beneficiaries.
Dispelling myths about probate
Maybe you have the impression you may sidestep probate if the deceased had a will or modest estate. Even under such circumstances, some assets must go through probate no matter the size of the estate or the existence of a will.
Assets that qualify for probate
Real estate property a person holds with people other than a marital partner becomes a “tenants in common” asset, which must go through the probate process before the distribution phase. Personal property and other individual assets held only in the deceased individual’s name qualify for probate, too.
Assets that do not qualify for probate
You may distribute life insurance policies that list a living beneficiary to the named beneficiary without submitting it for probate. Annuities with a named beneficiary and trust assets part of a living trust do not qualify for probate.
If your loved one had retirement, joint or investment accounts that include a named living beneficiary, you do not have to worry about them going to probate court. The same applies to accounts listed as “transfer on death” or “payment on death.”
With factual information, you may help beneficiaries anticipate when they receive their inheritance. Hopefully, you have the right tools and resources to help you become a competent probate administrator.