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The Probate Estate

The term probate is simply the Latin word meaning, “prove.” In the context of wills, it refers to the court supervised legal procedure that officially says your will is valid.

 

In addition to determining the authenticity of your will during the probate process:

 

  1. your executor (referred to as a personal representative in some states) is officially appointed;

  2. your debts and taxes are paid;

  3. your beneficiaries are identified and located; and

  4. the property in your probate estate is distributed according to your will.

 

What is the Probate Estate?

 

Your probate estate includes all your property that will pass through probate. Generally, this means all property you own at your death but does not include:

 

  • Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) property.

  • Tenancy by the Entirety property.

  • Life Insurance policy death benefits payable to a designated beneficiary other than “estate of the insured."

  • IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans payable to named beneficiaries.

  • Payable-on-death (POD) Bank Accounts.

  • Transfer-on-death (TOD) Securities Accounts.

  • Property transferred to a Living Trust during your lifetime.

  • Community Property: Generally, when one spouse dies half of the community property automatically belongs to the surviving spouse. The other half can be passed by will.

 

All of the above items are considered to be non-probate property and are not controlled by your will. See also: How is a Will Probated?

 

Robert J. Adler,

Attorney at Law

ADLER & ADLER,PLLC

Wills, Trusts, Estates & Private Client Services

30 years of

EXPERIENCE

Office: 212-843-4059

Estate Attorney, Wills and Trusts

Direct: 646-946-8327

1180 6th Avenue

8th Floor

New York, New York 10036

We also see clients in Westchester (White Plains)  

and Long Island (Garden City). 

Serving New York including (but not limited to): New York City including Manhattan (New York County); Brooklyn (Kings County); Bronx; Queens; Staten Island (Richmond County); Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County); Westchester County, Rockland County; Putnam County; Dutchess County; and Northern  New Jersey.

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