What is Probate?
- Probate is the process of obtaining the court’s approval to pass property as you instruct in your Will.
- The process includes filing the original Will with the death certificate, appointing an executor, obtaining appraisals, notifying creditors, making an inventory of assets and accounting for distributions from the estate.
Common Probate Misconceptions
- Does avoiding probate save on taxes? NO. Estate taxes are determined under the tax law. Tax law is separate from probate rules.
- Do all assets pass through probate? NO. Only assets titled in your name alone pass through probate. For instance, any asset held jointly with right of survivorship passes outside of probate to the surviving owner(s). Life insurance, IRAs and retirement plan assets pass outside probate according to your beneficiary designation.
- Is all of my information private? NO. All of the information passing through probate will be public.