You are here: Home Planning Ahead Probate How To Avoid ... Assets That Pass By Law
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

How To Avoid Probate (Will Substitutes)

Assets That Pass By Law

Next » « Previous


If yours is the only name registered as owner of an asset, the asset has to pass through probate -- either under the terms of your will or the laws of intestacy (if you die without a Will).

There are other methods of registering title of an asset which automatically pass title to another person on your death.

Assets held in the following ways will be distributed to your survivors with no or limited probate because the type of ownership in itself determines who receives the property.

Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy is when two or more people own an asset equally together. While you are alive, the other person has a stake in an asset registered in this manner. You can't change your mind about their ownership without their consent.

  • Joint Tenancy With The Right of Survivorship means that the share of the property held by the deceased person automatically passes to the remaining survivor(s) by law. The asset does not pass through probate.
  • Joint Tenancy Without Right of Survivorship (also known as "Tenants-In-Common"): Your share of ownership in an asset registered in this manner will pass through probate. It will be distributed according to your will, if you have one, or, if you don't, according to your state's intestacy laws.

Tenancy by the Entirety

Tenancy by the entirety is a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship between a legally married husband and wife. Like Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship, property titled in this manner automatically passes outside of probate.

Community Property

Community property is most property owned by married people who live in community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. In these states, both spouses are considered to equally own everything accumulated while they are married. There are exceptions for assets that were owned before the marriage, received as a gift, or inherited. Some community states offer probate shortcuts for community property.

Community Property with Right of Survivorship

Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin also allow you and your spouse to own property as "community property with right of survivorship." This title registration works just like Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship: property held this way passes automatically to the surviving spouse when the first dies.

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.