What Types Of Assets Go Through Probate?

Share This Post:

Types of Probate Assets

Understanding Probate: Types of Assets That Go Through Probate

Introduction to Probate and Asset Distribution

Probate is a legal process that occurs after an individual’s passing to facilitate the distribution of their assets and settle their debts. While the probate process can be complex, understanding which types of assets go through probate is essential for efficient estate planning. This comprehensive guide will explore the various categories of assets commonly undergoing probate and how you can plan accordingly to streamline the process.

Probate Assets vs. Non-Probate Assets

Assets are typically categorized as either probate assets or non-probate assets. The key distinction between these two categories lies in their distribution after the individual’s death.

Probate assets are those that are subject to the probate process. According to state law, these assets are distributed to heirs or beneficiaries according to the individual’s will or, if there is no will. The probate court oversees the distribution of these assets to ensure that it occurs in an orderly and legally compliant manner.

Non-probate assets, on the other hand, bypass the probate process and are transferred directly to designated beneficiaries or joint owners upon the individual’s death. These assets are typically not governed by the terms of the individual’s will and are not subject to the same court oversight as probate assets.

Common Types of Probate Assets

Probate assets encompass a wide range of property and possessions that may need to go through the probate process. Here are some of the most common types of assets that fall into this category:

1. Real Estate

Real estate properties, such as homes, land, and investment properties, are often probate assets. The probate court will oversee the transfer of real estate to the designated heirs or beneficiaries, ensuring that the property’s title is legally transferred.

2. Personal Property

Personal property includes items like jewelry, furniture, vehicles, and collectibles. These assets may go through probate, especially if there is no clear designation of beneficiaries or joint owners. The probate process helps determine how these items should be distributed among heirs.

3. Bank Accounts

Bank accounts, including savings accounts, checking accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs), may be considered probate assets if they are solely in the decedent’s name without a designated beneficiary or payable-on-death (POD) designation.

4. Investment Accounts

Investment accounts, such as brokerage accounts and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), can become probate assets if there is no named beneficiary or if the named beneficiary predeceased the account holder. In such cases, the probate court will determine the distribution of these assets.

5. Business Interests

Business interests or ownership stakes in partnerships, corporations, or sole proprietorships are subject to probate if there is no clear succession plan in place. Probate ensures a legal transfer of these assets or the sale of the business as directed by the court.

6. Intellectual Property

Intellectual property assets, including patents, copyrights, and trademarks, may go through probate if they are not otherwise designated for transfer to specific beneficiaries. The court will oversee the transfer of these valuable assets.

7. Mineral Rights and Royalties

Mineral rights and royalties from oil, gas, or mineral extraction can be probate assets. The court will ensure that these rights are transferred to the appropriate heirs or beneficiaries as part of the probate process.

Planning to Minimize Probate

While some assets naturally go through probate, effective estate planning can help minimize the probate process’s impact on your estate. Here are strategies to consider:

1. Create a Comprehensive Will

A well-drafted last will and testament is a crucial estate planning document. It allows you to specify how your probate assets should be distributed, reducing the likelihood of disputes and uncertainties. Be sure to update your will regularly to reflect changes in your circumstances or wishes.

2. Establish Trusts

Trusts, such as revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts, can hold assets and bypass probate. By placing assets in a trust, you retain control during your lifetime and specify how they should be distributed after your passing.

3. Designate Beneficiaries

Many assets, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies, allow you to designate beneficiaries. By doing so, these assets can transfer directly to the designated individuals without going through probate.

4. Joint Ownership

Joint ownership of assets with rights of survivorship can ensure that the property automatically passes to the surviving owner(s) upon your death. Common examples include joint bank accounts and joint tenancy in real estate.

5. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney is invaluable in creating a comprehensive plan to minimize probate. An attorney can provide tailored guidance based on your unique circumstances and goals.


Understanding which types of assets go through probate is a crucial aspect of estate planning. By identifying your probate assets and implementing effective strategies to minimize probate, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient distribution of your estate to your chosen beneficiaries.

At Morgan Legal Group in Miami, our experienced estate planning attorneys can assist you in creating a customized estate plan that aligns with your wishes and minimizes the impact of probate. Contact us today to begin the estate planning process and secure your assets for the future.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group PLLP.

Got a Problem? Consult With Us

For Assistance, Please Give us a call or schedule a virtual appointment.
Estate Planning New York Lawyer Estate Planning Miami Lawyer Estate Planning Lawyer NYC Miami Lawyer Near Me Estate Planning Lawyer Florida Near Me Dental Near Me Lawyers Probate Lawyer Hallandale Beach Probate Lawyer Near Miami Estate Planning Lawyer Near Miami Estate Planning Attorney Near Miami Probate Attorney Near Miami Best Probate Attorney Miami Best Probate Lawyer Miami Best Estate Planning Lawyer Miami Best Estate Planning Attorney Miami Best Estate Planning Attorney Hollywood Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Palm Beach Florida Estate Planning Attorney Palm Beach Immigration Miami Lawyer Estate Planning lawyer Miami Local Lawyer Florida Florida Attorneys Near Me Probate Key West Florida Estate Planning Key West Florida Will and Trust Key West Florida local lawyer local lawyer mag local lawyer magazine local lawyer local lawyer elite attorney magelite attorney magazineestate planning miami lawyer estate planning miami lawyers estate planning miami attorney probate miami attorney probate miami lawyers near me lawyer miami probate lawyer miami estate lawyer miami estate planning lawyer boca ratonestate planning lawyers palm beach estate planning lawyers boca raton estate planning attorney boca raton estate planning attorneys boca raton estate planning attorneys palm beach estate planning attorney palm beach estate planning attorney west palm beach estate planning attorneys west palm beach west palm beach estate planning attorneys west palm beach estate planning attorney west palm beach estate planning lawyers boca raton estate planning lawyers boca raton probate lawyers west palm beach probate lawyer west palm beach probate lawyers palm beach probate lawyersboca raton probate lawyers probate lawyers boca raton probate lawyer boca raton Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer best probate attorney Florida best probate attorneys Florida best probate lawyer Florida best probate lawyers palm beach estate lawyer palm beach estate planning lawyer fort lauderdale estate planning lawyer in miami estate planning north miami Florida estate planning attorneys florida lawyers near mefort lauderdale local attorneys miami estate planning law miami estate planning lawyers miami lawyer near me probate miami lawyer probate palm beach Florida trust and estate palm beach