Probate is the legal process of settling an individual's estate after they pass away. It involves distributing their assets to their heirs and beneficiaries, paying off any debts and taxes owed, and ensuring that everything is done according to the deceased's wishes. However, not all assets go through probate, and it's essential to understand which ones do and which ones don't to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at which assets go through probate and why it matters.
Real estate is one of the most significant assets that go through probate. This includes any property that the deceased owned solely in their name, such as a house, condo, or land. If the property was co-owned, then only the deceased's share goes through probate. It's important to note that if the property has a mortgage, the mortgage company can foreclose on the property if the payments are not made, even if the property is in probate.
Bank accounts are another common asset that goes through probate. This includes checking, savings, and money market accounts. If the deceased had a joint account with someone, the account will pass to the surviving account holder without going through probate. However, if the account was solely in the deceased's name, it will need to go through probate.
Investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are assets that go through probate. If the deceased held these investments in a brokerage account or investment company, the account will need to go through probate. However, if the investments were held in a trust, they may bypass probate.
Retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions are not assets that go through probate. These accounts have named beneficiaries, and the assets pass to the beneficiaries outside of probate. It's essential to ensure that the beneficiary designations are up-to-date and accurate to avoid any issues.
Life Insurance Policies
Life insurance policies are not assets that go through probate. These policies have named beneficiaries, and the proceeds pass to the beneficiaries outside of probate. However, if the deceased did not name a beneficiary or the named beneficiary is no longer living, the proceeds may need to go through probate.
Contact Our Indiana Probate Attorneys
In conclusion, understanding which assets go through probate is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free settling of an estate. At Rice & Rice, we specialize in estate and probate law and can help you navigate the probate process. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in your time of need.