Probate is defined as the official proving of a Will. Many people think that when they create a Will all their assets will be distributed according to their will. This may not be the case. The only assets that can be administered according to the terms of the Will are assets in the probate estate.
Assets includible in the probate estate are:
- Any asset owned by the decedent alone
- Any real property owned in the decedents name alone or assets owned in the decedents name that are titled tenants in common.
- Personal property such as household items or jewelry as long as this property is not in trust.
Assets NOT includible in the probate estate are:
- Joint accounts
- Accounts that have beneficiaries attached to them
- Any real property titled joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants by the entirety
- Any properties that are in trust