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What Types of Assets are Subject to Probate?

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Navigating the waters of estate planning and probate can be complex and emotionally taxing. A key component of this journey is understanding which types of assets are subject to probate. This process, essential in the realm of estate management, involves legally transferring a deceased person’s assets to their heirs.

It’s a path that many find daunting, primarily because it typically includes assets with legal titles – real estate, financial accounts, and vehicles, to name a few. In this guide, we aim to shed light on these assets with empathy and clarity, simplifying what can often feel like an overwhelming process.

Exploring Types of Probate Assets

Real Estate: The Cornerstone of Probate Assets

Real estate holdings often form the core of probate assets. These are significant due to their value and the legal necessity of transferring titles. Understanding the role of real estate in probate is crucial for anyone going through this process or planning their estate.

Financial Accounts: Navigating Through Probate

Financial accounts, another pillar of probate assets, require careful handling. These accounts can range from savings and checking accounts to stocks and bonds. They play a pivotal role in the probate process due to their inherent value and the legalities involved in transferring ownership.

Motor Vehicles: A Frequent Consideration in Probate

Motor vehicles are also commonly subject to probate. While a vehicle alone might not always trigger probate, it is often involved in the process, especially when combined with other assets like real estate.

Understanding Personal Property in Probate

Personal property, such as furniture and household goods, may not always go through probate. These items, often without formal titles, are generally divided according to the deceased’s will or state law in the absence of a will. However, disagreements among heirs can bring these items into the probate arena.

Uncommon Probate Assets

Some less commonly considered assets in probate include interests in closely held corporations or limited liability companies. These can become part of probate proceedings if no appropriate transfer-on-death arrangements are in place.

Avoiding Probate: The Power of Planning

Proper estate planning can significantly reduce the need for probate. By setting up appropriate mechanisms, assets, even those with titles, can bypass the probate process. This planning is vital for a smooth transition of assets and can be a relief for those with substantial estates.

Commonly Encountered Probate Assets

In probate cases, the most common assets include real estate and motor vehicles. Real estate, in particular, is a frequent trigger for probate proceedings, often due to its high value and legal implications. Motor vehicles, although less complex, are frequently involved in these cases.

Resolving Disputes Over Probate Assets

Disagreements in probate typically revolve around the usage or disposal of assets rather than their distribution. Real estate, especially family homes or properties with sentimental value, often becomes a point of contention. Heirs may disagree on whether to retain or sell such properties, leading to complex probate disputes.


Navigating the probate process and comprehending which types of assets are subject to probate can be quite intimidating. It’s a journey that requires compassionate guidance and expert advice. We’re here to offer support and a stress-free approach to handling your probate needs.

If you’re seeking assistance or have questions about your specific circumstances, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can ensure that this difficult time is managed with care and understanding.