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When is it necessary to probate an estate?

An estate must be probated when the deceased has assets titled solely in his or her name at the time of death. Property jointly held with a surviving owner, property passing to another person who has been designated a beneficiary, property with a “Payable on Death” or “Transfer on Death” designation, or property titled in the name of a trust do not come under the provisions of a will, and are outside of probate. Assets include real property, personal property, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, life insurance policies and other types of securities.

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