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Why do assets need to be probated?
The purpose of probate is to protect minor children and their assets, to ensure the deceased’s debts and taxes are paid, to ensure the will is valid and to make sure the probate estate is distributed correctly. It also ensures that any person left out of the will and any creditors are notified of the person’s death. This enables them opportunity to contest the will or in the case of creditors, file a claim against the estate.
Difference between non-probate and probate estate.
The probate estate includes all of the deceased’s property at the time of death, except for the following:
Jointly owned property
Assets held in a trust
Life insurance (where the designated beneficiary is not the deceased estate)
Pay on Death (POD) accounts which specified a beneficiary
Social Security survivor’s benefits
Employee Benefits (most states give employers authority to pay sums due to the employee directly to the spouse or next of kin, thus not forming part of the probate estate).
Property given away before death.
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