Do You Always Have to Probate a Will?

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If the deceased has assets with deeds, a will most likely will not avoid probate. Strengthen your understanding of probate court with an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Part of the Video Series: Estate Planning
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Video Transcript

Do you always have to probate a will? Well, not necessarily. It depends on what the deceased owned at the time that he passed away, or she passed away, and it depends on really how they owned it. The process of probate is taking the deceased's name off of an asset, and putting the heir's name on the asset. So if the deceased had a home, then more than likely we're going to have to go through probate. If the deceased's name is on the deed, to take the deceased's name off the deed, and to put the deed in the name of the heir. If the deceased is married, the heir is going to be typically the spouse. Not always the spouse, but typically. If the deceased didn't have a spouse, then it may be some other person. It could be a charity. Taking the deceased's name off of an item of property is what probate is all about. If the item of property doesn't have a title, so my couch does not have a title. I don't have to go through probate to transfer my couch to somebody because my name isn't on the couch. My name is not on my refrigerator. My name is not on my TV. My name is on my car. Sometimes you have to go through probate to transfer a car into the name of your heirs, and some states provide a very informal way to transfer automobiles from the deceased's name into the family's name. Things like insurance, retirement accounts, don't go through probate unless for some reason the estate is named as the beneficiary.


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