Which of Your Assets Are Considered Probate Assets?

Inheriting some items can lead to the inevitable probate process, the legal procedure that is required but can take a long time to establish who is entitled to what. Plenty of assets do not require probate, which is good news for those who are inheriting items, but these are subject to some strict definitions.

So, what types of assets are subject to probate? When do you need to start looking for a probate special administrator in Nevada?

Probate Assets

In the majority of cases, probate is reserved for the property that is owned solely in the name of the person who has now passed on. These assets include bank accounts, real estate, and vehicles.

Probate is also needed if the person owned an interest in real estate as a “tenants in common” as opposed to a joint tenant.

Depending on the state you live in, there may be certain smaller value inheritances which can be handled in a more streamlined way. Our affordable Nevada probate attorney can explain the specifics of the Nevada system, and help you determine probate vs non-probate assets.

Non-Probate Assets

Common non-probate assets include:

· Money in a bank account containing a payable-on-death (POD) designation.
· Co-owned savings bonds with a spouse.
· Real Estate that is owned in joint tenancy.
· Assets held in a living trust.
· Retirement accounts such as a 401k if a beneficiary has been named.

There are other non-probate assets and finding a probate special administrator in Nevada can help you to ensure that you are aware of the rights and what needs to go into probate. An element of estate planning can go a long way.

Do I Need Probate if there are no Assets?

Many people are wondering if probate is always required when a loved one passes away. Probate helps when assets need to be transferred to heirs or beneficiaries. If there are no assets then, there is often no significant advantage to going through the probate process, except for the fact that a probate process can formally close the estate of the deceased.

How to Search for Probate Assets

Finding the assets of someone who has passed away can be quite a difficult task. Searching for probate assets generally starts with reviewing the personal papers of the deceased. If they have a reliable filing system then this might be a way to track down money that has been left behind or other pensions and accounts they have paid into.

Checking their emails, online history, and mail might also give some clues to where they own accounts. Even if you can’t access them initially, you can work out where money and probate assets might be located.

If you believe there to be assets, it doesn’t matter if they are probate vs. non-probate assets. You need to find them to try and work out the next step. Ultimately, you might have to go into detective mode. It’s a good idea to get professional help with this, as it can be a stressful time, and a probate attorney might be able to advise you on where you can find the assets, from safety deposit boxes to elsewhere in private records and belongings.

For more than 30 years, Attorney Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.