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Estate Planning and Distribution of Non-Probate Assets

During the estate planning process, it’s important to be aware of the fact that there are certain assets that cannot be included in your will.

These are known as non-probate assets, or assets that pass outside of will. For better understanding of the term non-probate, we can look at what probate means.


What is Probate?

Probate refers to the legal process followed during the distribution of your estate according to the instructions found in your will.

During the probate proceedings, the executor of the estate will gather the deceased’s assets before settling all relevant debts, paying taxes and finally distributing the assets according to the terms of the will.

Even if the deceased did not draw up a will, the probate process must still take place. In such a case, the court will be given the responsibility to ensure assets are properly distributed to the deceased’s heirs.

Estate Planning and Non-Probate Assets

Therefore, non-probate assets are those that do no need to go through the probate process. Instead, they are directly distributed to the allocated beneficiaries.

While paying attention to your estate planning, it’s important to take a look at what non-probate assets you have in your possession and how you would like them to be distributed, as these are not assets that can be governed by the terms of your will and testament.

What are Non-Probate Assets?

Non-probate assets are assets that are held jointly with other people and assets that have designated beneficiaries.

Examples of non-probate assets are:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Jointly held bank accounts
  • Pension funds or annuities
  • Real estate owned as joint-tenants
  • Retirement accounts
  • Any account with transfer-on-death or payable-on-death designations

Olemera Financial Planning – Estate Planning and Financial Advisors

Careful estate planning is essential in order to avoid serious financial implications that may potentially arise.

This is why working closely with one of our financial advisors will ensure that your estate is properly managed and distributed according to your requests.

For more information about the importance of estate planning or if you have any other questions related to financial planning, please feel free to contact us.

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