Does Probate Administer All of The Decedent’s Property?

Probate usually applies only to assets the decedent owned in his or her sole name at the time of death. Property with a beneficiary designation passes to the designated beneficiary without the need for probate, and property held jointly with rights of survivorship passes automatically to the surviving joint owner. While this may appear advantageous because of the probate avoidance, there are a number of factors that must be considered before titling any property jointly. Tax implications must be considered.

Additionally, any marital, health or financial problems of the joint owner may put the property at risk. It is important to review your account ownerships and beneficiary designations to make sure they are coordinated with your comprehensive estate plan.

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