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What assets must go through probate?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Estate Planning, Probate

After someone’s death, there is no automatic method to distribute their assets to their heirs. In most cases, the estate could go through probate, which helps manage and administer the estate under the court’s direction. This process can involve numerous procedures, such as validating the deceased’s will, appraising their assets and meeting financial requirements before administering the estate.

Additionally, these procedures must comply with applicable probate laws, which can be another layer of complexity. However, only eligible estates may go through probate, depending on their sizes and asset types.

Assets eligible for probate

Each state may have specific laws concerning what assets can go through probate. In Florida, some exemptions exist for assets with survivorship rights or arrangements with designated beneficiaries. Solely owned assets are often eligible for probate, including the following:

  • Properties with titles listing the deceased as the only owner
  • Financial assets, including savings or investment accounts
  • Individual retirement payments
  • Insurance policies and other products without specified beneficiaries

Assets in trusts can also forego probate, depending on the setup’s details and circumstances. Also, other estate planning tools can help avoid probate or minimize its impact on the estate’s overall value, making them viable options for elaborate assets.

Benefitting from effective estate planning

Probate can have complications along the way, taking a significant amount of time and effort from start to finish. This process may last for months or even years, which could cause considerable stress and burden to the deceased’s surviving family. In these instances, preparing ahead by creating a comprehensive estate plan can be beneficial. It can help avoid probate for specific assets that might be too challenging for surviving family members to manage on the deceased’s behalf.


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