Probate can be a very confusing process for many people, especially depending on the assets and financial circumstances of a decedent's estate, as well as any will that the decedent had in place. Some people have never even heard of the word probate, but for those who have recently had to say goodbye to a loved one, or who are preparing to say goodbye, the idea of how the estate will be probated is likely not far from your mind.
If you are expecting to oversee or be involved in probating a decedent's estate, it is a good idea to learn as much about the estate as you can. That includes all of the assets included in the estate, debts owed by the estate, assets that are co-owned and more. While nearly all of the assets in an estate are probated, you may find yourself wondering if some assets are exempt from the process.
It may surprise you to learn that probate does not affect all assets, though the exempt assets may change depending on the state. In Florida, assets that are not probated include:
- Bank Accounts listed as POD or TOD; these initialisms stand for Payable on Death and Transfer on Death.
- Property that is held in a Revocable Trust, meaning that it is already overseen by a designated trustee.
- Life Insurance Policies in which a beneficiary has already been designated, as well as retirement accounts in which a beneficiary has already been designated.
There are a few other types of assets that are exempt from the probate process, but generally speaking, properties or assets for which a beneficiary or trustee has already been designated will not be probated. If you have questions about whether or not an asset will go through probate, or if an asset did not go through probate and you feel that it should have, consider contacting an attorney.