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6 Examples of Assets that Skip Probate


What are Assets that skip Probate?

When you sit down to plan your estate, we recommend you try to understand which kinds of assets can skip probate altogether, as well as all of the benefits you might gain by doing so. When you pass away, the legal process of probate is a method for shifting ownership of your assets to your loved ones and other beneficiaries.

Your assets do not always require use of the probate process however. Many people would probably prefer to avoid probate if they knew how to do so, due to the lengthy and costly process it can be.

What are the Main Benefits of Forgoing Probate?

Any assets that must go through the probate process are going to take quite a bit longer to be given to any of your intended beneficiaries. On the lower end, this may take as six or so months for everything to be finalized.

Your heirs could end up waiting several years to receive anything you wanted them to inherit. If you are able to skip the probate process altogether, it will greatly reduce any unnecessary delays that may otherwise create even more heartache for your grieving family.

Beyond this, probate can be extremely costly for some families. Any money held by your estate is first going to be paid to the court, lawyer fees, and any other expense related to going through probate.

Unfortunately this will also likely decrease the money that your beneficiaries ultimately end up receiving. Once most folks understand these basic hassles they might put their family through, it’s enough to motivate them to at least attempt to structure assets in a manner which may prevent a probate battle.

Here are Examples of Assets that Skip Probate

(Note: this is entirely dependent on the jurisdiction of your State! Please contact an Estate Planning Professional for assistance with your documents.)

According to FindLaw, the following list of assets may be able to forgo a probate process entirely and be given directly to your heirs.

  • Property held by a revocable trust
  • Any assets which can be counted as community property
  • Real estate and property w/ joint tenancy
  • Any retirement accounts that have a named beneficiary
  • Any real estate that has a “transfer on death deed”
  • Financial accounts that have a transfer on death or payable on death ownership configuration

Please keep in mind that any retirement account with a designated beneficiary can only be given to that specific beneficiary, even when they are held by a trust with different beneficiaries. We hope these serve as good examples of assets that skip probate, but you can get even more resources on the topic from FindLaw as well.

We recommend that you sit down to review your own estate plan every couple of years, just to ensure your beneficiaries are up to date and named correctly.

Our Client Care Program is the perfect way to stay on top of this and all of your other estate planning needs!

Contact our office at 509-328-2150 today to schedule and appointment with our experienced Estate Planning Attorneys so you don’t have to worry about the probate process.

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