Whether an estate goes through probate or not, depends on how the decedent held assets and what types of assets were owned at the time of death. Certain assets have to go through probate, other assets do not.
The following is a list of assets that typically avoids probate:
- Jointly held property with rights of survivorship
- Life insurance and annuities with a named beneficiary
- Retirement plans, IRAs, and pensions with a named beneficiary
- Assets held in a Living Trust at the time of a decedent’s death
- Payable on Death (POD) bank accounts
- Transfer on Death (TOD) affidavits for real estate
- Transfer on Death (TOD) stocks, bonds, and brokerage accounts
- Transfer on Death (TOD) automobile titles
All other assets that are titled in the decedent’s individual name alone or where no beneficiary is named must go through probate.