Will We Need a Formal Probate Administration of the Estate?
If there is a Will or no estate plan document at all, it is likely that a probate administration will be required. Some types of property, however, pass without probate, including the following:
- Assets held jointly, either as “tenancy by the entireties” between a husband and wife, or as “joint tenants with right of survivorship” between any two or more persons who are not married. (In the case of a husband and wife, it is often the case that probate is not required where all assets were owned jointly by the husband and wife);
- Accounts that are payable on death (“POD Accounts”) to a named person;
- Accounts that have one or more named beneficiaries, such as retirement accounts including IRA accounts, 401(k) accounts, and annuities;
- Life insurance policies having a beneficiary designation.
Contact one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis if you are uncertain whether or not probate is necessary or if you are confronted with issues regarding beneficiary designations, joint ownership, or payable on death accounts.
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