Estate planning is an essential part to growing older and managing your Alabama assets. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it takes the burden off your loved ones during an already stressful time. But estate planning comes with a lot of questions. As you’re learning more about the various assets you’ll have to manage in your living trust or will, you’re probably learning about probate assets and non-probate assets.
What are probate assets?
Probate assets are assets that are owned solely by yourself and that are left out of a trust. They can include things like houses, property, stocks and bonds, business interests, bank accounts, and motor vehicles. Additional property or household items can also be considered a probate asset.
Which assets are not considered probate assets?
If probate assets are unclaimed assets that are not designated to anyone or owned by anyone else, non-probate assets would be the opposite. This would be any asset that is:
- Jointly owned by someone other than the deceased
- Designated to a beneficiary
- Put in a trust
These can be things like life insurance policies or 401(k) accounts, where the deceased had to name a beneficiary, or money that’s left in a living trust. This also applies to belongings that are left to a friend or family member.
What if I have questions while estate planning?
In short: If there is no question about where the assets will go upon the person’s death, the assets are not considered probate. However, if you have questions about what assets should be probate or non-probate, or anything else related to your estate planning, reach out an attorney to learn more.