Probate Alternatives: Non-Probate Assets
Examples of non-probate assets that pass at death without probate include life insurance, IRAs, Payable (or Transferable) on Death accounts (POD or TOD), property or accounts held as “Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship” (JTWROS), IRAs, retirement plans and annuity contracts– if the designated beneficiary is other than the decedent’s estate. Recently, the Washington Legislature enacted a statutory provision authorizing a form of deed that conveys real property at death. Assets held in this manner pass automatically by operation of law to the designated beneficiary or co-owner with survivorship rights. Typically only the decedent’s death certificate is required. These assets do not count towards the $100,000.00 ceiling for using a Small Estate Affidavit. However, like all property the decedent had an interest in at the moment of death, they are included in decedent’s gross estate for estate tax purposes. For more information regarding how Lyons Sullivan lawyers can help you with non probate assets or other legal services, contact us here or at our office in Bellevue, WA.