Probate is the legal process to pass property of a deceased person to heirs and/or beneficiaries under a will or by intestacy. Although it can include a variety of property owned by a deceased person, probate does not address all property.

Some of the property not include in a probate estate includes:

  • Real property  owned as “joint tenants with right of survivorship.” This property would go to a co-owner by operation of law. Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant is prepared by the surviving co-owner and recorded on the real estate.
  • Retirement accounts such as 401(k) and IRA accounts where there are designated beneficiaries.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Bank accounts that are set up as “pay upon death” designations or designated as “in trust for.”
  • Property owned in a living trust. When property is owned by a living trust, title or the proceeds of any sale would go to named beneficiaries.

Often upon the death of a loved one, there are a lot of questions about whether a probate is required or how to administer a living trust. Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220 if you have questions about the next steps in a probate or trust administration.