Probate Assets vs Non-Probate Assets

People often think of a Will as the all-encompassing document that says what happens to their stuff immediately after they die. However, this is not true. Some of your assets go directly to their intended beneficiaries as soon as you die. The rest of your assets go through probate courts and the probate process. Which assets go where? That depends on if the asset is a probate asset or non-probate asset.

When you are planning your estate, it is important to know the difference between the two types of assets. In Ohio assets are classified as probate assets or non-probate assets. This page provides a description of both types of assets.

Probate Assets

Probate assets are subject to probate administration. The probate process gets the assets out of the deceased person's name and into the names of the rightful heirs. There are three types of probate assets. The three types are individual assets, tenants in common assets, and beneficiary assets

Probate assets include:

  • Property that is solely in the decedent’s name
  • Bank accounts that are solely in the deceased's name
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Vehicles such as automobiles and boats
  • Business Interests

Non-Probate Assets

Non-probate assets pass to the beneficiary without going through probate administration. Owning non-probate assets is one of the easiest ways to avoid the expensive and time-consuming probate process.

Non-probate assets include:

  • Retirement benefits such as 401(k)s, IRAs, TSAs
  • Pay-On-Death (POD) Accounts
  • Transfer-On-Death (TOD) Assets
  • Life Insurance
  • Pension plans
  • Property held in a trust
  • Property or bank accounts held in joint tenancy

Understanding the difference between probate assets and non-probate assets is very important. Why is it so important? Knowing the difference between the two types of assets helps you make sure your intentions are carried out correctly.  Have more questions about probate assets vs non-probate assets. Contact Wolfe Legal Services today. George Wolfe has 20 years of experience as a probate attorney. Don’t forget we offer a free consultation.

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