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What are Probate and Non-probate Assets in a Pompano Beach Estate


Distinguishing between probate and non-probate assets is an integral part of estate administration. This can be a time-consuming process for an executor or personal representative. Confusion over assets can also cause disputes between heirs and beneficiaries, requiring the assistance of a Pompano Beach probate vs. nonprobate assets attorney. When you are drafting or updating your estate plan, make sure all your assets are correctly classified. You can remove assets from probate by changing the title when you update your documents.

If you are unsure what assets would be included in probate, here’s an introduction to the two classifications of assets.

Florida Probate Assets

Probate assets are any property and other assets that are owned solely by the Decedent at the time of death. That can be a home, car, recreation vehicles, boat, etc., that are in the deceased’s name. Other probate assets are personal property like artwork, jewelry, and other collectibles. This classification applies even if the property doesn’t have a certificate of ownership or title. Household items, like furniture, appliances, clothing, and lawn equipment will also be included in probate.

The executor of the estate is the one who has to do an inventory of the Decedent’s estate. That can be a very tedious process, but it’s necessary to ensure the person’s wishes are respected. If there is no Will, the inventory is still required to ensure beneficiaries get the full value they are entitled to under Florida’s intestate succession laws.

Florida Nonprobate Assets

In most cases, property that is held jointly is not a probate asset. However, the joint property must be properly titled for that exemption to apply. Usually, a real estate title will be joint tenants with the right of survivorship to be classified as a non-probate asset. If the property is titled tenancy in common, the Decedent’s interest must be probated.

Other assets that have beneficiary destinations, like life insurance policies, and accounts that have Pay on Death (POD) designations, won’t pass through probate either. Assets with Transfer on Death (TOD) provisions like stocks, securities, and bonds will be classified as non-probate assets too.

If you established a Living Trust and transferred assets into the Trust, those assets are not part of probate. However, if the Trust is created in your Will, known as a Testamentary Trust, it would still pass through probate initially.

The object of creating a Trust is to keep assets from going through probate whenever possible. However, sometimes people don’t fully fund the trust or don’t properly transfer assets over. When that happens, a non-probate asset will likely become a probate one.

Contact a Florida Estate Litigation Attorney

During the probate process, disputes can arise for a variety of reasons. If you are a beneficiary or an heir concerned about the Decedent’s Will or Trust, you need to contact an experienced Pompano Beach estate litigation attorney. Contesting a Will or Trust can be a complicated process. If you want to object, it’s essential to speak with an attorney right away. To learn more about estate and trust disputes, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.


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