Transfers Outside of Probate

In addition to trusts, there are other means of transferring property upon death outside of probate.

Real property and accounts owned with another person as “joint tenants” passes to the surviving co-owner without going through probate. Because of tax rules regarding a step-up in basis, this probate-avoidance technique may result in higher taxes if the asset is later sold.

Other types of benefits, such as a life insurance policy, retirement accounts or annuities, are paid by contract directly to a named beneficiary, thereby bypassing probate. In addition to joint accounts, a bank account can be set up as a pay-on-death (POD) account or as an "in trust for" (ITF or "Totten Trust") account with ownership passing to named beneficiary without probate.

If you have a question about your legal rights, or wish to speak to an attorney about your situation, please call us today at 510-663-9240, or contact us online to discuss your legal rights.