Understanding which assets are likely to go through probate

If you are making plans for your loved ones to receive an inheritance, you may wish to assist your relatives in avoiding probate as much as possible. Confusion over your will – or the lack thereof – may result in family disagreements that you never intended. Our team at the Bingham Legal Group PC knows how important it is for families in Detroit to make their estate planning cohesive and clear, so many of these disagreements may be avoided.

Are there some types of property that always go through probate court? Do other assets avoid probate automatically? According to Fidelity Investments, some of your assets should be able to avoid probate more easily than others. For example, the assets that you clearly designate to your beneficiaries in a properly planned will or trust should be distributed without much delay. Anything that you own jointly with your spouse should not go into probate if you pass away first. This might include your home, retirement accounts, life insurance and household belongings. The ownership of these assets would transfer automatically to your spouse.

However, property that you own in your name only, such as real estate you purchased before your marriage, may go to probate. This would also likely be true of assets that you share with another person, such as the ownership or stock interest of a company – this is known as having “tenants in common.”

Estate planning can be complex at times, regardless of having a will or trust. This is especially true in matters that involve probate. You may learn more about property distribution during the probate process by visiting our probate page.