Understanding The Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Estates

The goal of any good estate plan is to protect as much of your property as possible and ensure that, once you die, that property is inherited or transferred in a manner that you choose. While some people know that probate is the set of legal requirements that have to be met before inheritors can become the legal owners of a deceased person’s property, it isn’t always clear what property has to go through probate. In short, your property will be divided into two general categories after you die:  your probate and non-probate estates. Probate State law determines what is counted as probate property and what isn’t. Typically this includes real property, such as your home or real estate investments, as well as personal property such as cars, valuable objects, or heirlooms. Probate property also includes any debt or obligations you have, as well as cash accounts and investments. Non-Probate Avoiding probate is one of the primary goals of establishing an estate plan because probate i


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