Probate Law

30 Jan. 23

Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets in Godfrey, IL


The process of estate planning in Godfrey, IL involves the decisions regarding how a person’s assets will be distributed to their heirs upon their death. It is important to know the difference between different types of assets during this process. Some assets will be passed down to their heirs with the probate process, where the executor will file the will within probate court, take a complete inventory of their assets, contact all beneficiaries and creditors, and then distribute the assets following the instructions that were provided in the will. This whole process can be complicated, however, a person can make it easier for their loved ones by defining which assets can be passed down to their heirs without having to go through the probate process.

Distributing Assets Without The Probate Process

Probate assets are, for the most part, the person’s physical belongings or financial assets that are left for the beneficiaries in their will. Court oversight in Godfrey, IL is required whenever those assets are distributed to their heirs during the probate process. There are, however, certain assets that are not required to go through probate and can simply be given to the beneficiaries after the person’s death. These can include the following:

  • Beneficiaries on life insurance policies upon the policyholder’s death. The payout will not be handled within the probate process.
  • For certain jointly-owned property owned between a person with their spouse or any other family member, upon the person’s death, the co-owner will take full ownership of the assets. This is often seen with real estate property such as a couple’s family home.
  • The remaining funds in accounts like 401Ks or IRAs that have named beneficiaries will receive the funds after the account holder has died. There are other types of accounts as well that are designated as payable or transferred on death, which will give the beneficiary the account on the owner’s death.
  • Any assets the person had placed into a trust, will allow the trustee to manage those assets. Since the asset will be owned by the trust rather than the owner, it will not be included in the probate estate.Last Will and Testament

If you have any questions about probate or non-probate assets or need assistance writing a will in Godfrey, IL, give our team of legal professionals over at Diaz Law Offices a call today! We will ensure that you will dictate your wishes.