What’s the Difference Between Probate & Non-Probate Property?

The probate court process can be tricky to understand, especially without the guidance of an experienced probate attorney. One of the most confusing factors is the difference between probate and non-probate property, and how both types of assets are distributed upon passing. Learn more about the differences between these two forms of probate property, and be sure to contact Gokal Law Group, Inc. to settle any conflicts you may have with asset distribution of a loved one’s estate. 


Probate Property Is Yours, & Yours Alone

In short, probate property includes any assets that are owned by the decedent. You can think of these as assets held in your name, and your name only. Probate assets have no beneficiary designation and are required to pass through probate court prior to asset distribution according to your Will. 


These assets can include physical property, titled solely in the decedent’s name or held as a “tenant in common,” personal property such as jewelry, household items, vehicles, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and life insurance policies that are also solely in the decedent’s name. Furthermore, any interest in a partnership, corporation, or LLC would be considered probate property. 


Non-Probate Property Is Jointly Owned

As for non-probate property, these assets aren’t only owned by the decedent. Property that’s held in joint tenancy, for example, would qualify as non-probate property. Bank or brokerage accounts that are jointly owned and have payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) beneficiaries are also included as non-probate assets, along with property that has been held in a trust. Retirement accounts are also under the non-probate umbrella, as are life insurance or brokerage accounts with someone other than the decedent listed as the beneficiary. 


Essentially all of your assets held jointly with rights of survivorship will transfer over to the surviving owner after passing.  During distribution, your assets are passed on to the beneficiaries designated on the asset itself such as the name on a 401(k) document, a life insurance form, or a car title. It’s also important to note that non-probate property doesn’t require a probate court to be claimed by beneficiaries, meaning these assets aren’t controlled by your Will. 


A general rule of thumb when discerning between probate and non-probate property is your level of ownership. Assets that are solely yours generally qualify as probate assets, while non-probate property is jointly owned. For assistance with the probate court process, or to settle estate conflicts, contact Gokal Law Group, Inc. for a consultation on your case. 


Contact Gokal Law

Do you have a probate court case on your hands? Ensure that your petition gets filed by contacting Alison and Abbas Gokal of Gokal Law Group, Inc. Our team specializes in litigation and counseling related to trust and probate law and will diligently represent you in the courts. In short, we will give you the support you need to win your case. The sooner you contact us, the more effective we are at getting you the justice you deserve.


Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.


Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. Each has vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group, Inc.

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