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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29535
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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How can my sisters and I avoid going thru probate at the

Customer Question

How can my sisters and I avoid going thru probate at the death of our Mother who lives in Port St. Lucie, FL and none of us live in FL?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.
Probate proceedings are governed by state law. The purpose of the proceeding is to gather and distribute the decedent's assets.
The manner in which title passes determines whether an asset is a probate asset or a non-probate asset.
Title to probate property passes to the decedent’s estate and a probate proceeding may be necessary to transfer the property to heirs.
Probate property is property the deceased owned at the time of his or her death or that is payable to the estate. For example, if a house, car, RV, and bank account are all in the name of the deceased at the time of death, those items of property will have to be included in the probate estate and go through the probate procedure before they can be legally transferred to the beneficiaries. If the estate of the deceased is named as the beneficiary of an insurance policy, the proceeds of the policy will be included in the probate estate. Salary and benefits due to the deceased and money collected from debts owed to the deceased are part of the probate estate as well.
Non-probate property is primarily those assets of the decedent that were transferred prior to death or were held in a way that ownership transferred automatically upon death. Non probate assets do not come under control of the court. They may be distributed without court approval.
Some examples of non-probate property include:
•Transfers taking effect at death (payable on death accounts such as checking or savings accounts).
•IRA’s and retirement accounts that are payable to a designated spouse or survivor rather than the decedent’s estate.
•Property held jointly with rights of survivorship by decedent and any other person (such as a spouse).
•Life insurance proceeds paid to a designated beneficiary other than the decedent’s estate.
•Property held in a revocable or living trust, with a designated beneficiary.
Depending of type of assets your mother own - these ways of passing assets may be used.
Your residency would not matter fro that.
I suggest to start with the list of assets - and separately for each item - you will determine the way of passing that item to beneficiaries.
Let me know if you need any help with determination.