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No long probate process for main assets

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in Small Business Tax

Q.  I’m age 68 and married. We own a home jointly with right of survivorship. All my other large assets have named beneficiaries except our cars. Do those assets have to pass through a lengthy probate when Idie? T.P.E.

A. No. Probate is the process of validating your will and authorizing your executor to carry out its instructions. But assets that are owned jointly, including your home and other property, aren’t subject to probate because they’re not covered under your will. Neither are assets with named beneficiaries, such as insurance policies and retirement plan accounts. Instead, they pass directly to the joint owners or the designated beneficiaries.

Tip: In many states, probate doesn’t take as long as you might expect. Consult with an attorney for more details.

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