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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55444
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My father passed. My brother and I are joint executors and

Customer Question

My father passed. My brother and I are joint executors and POD on bank account. He had a will for each to have 50% of estate. The house and car need probate; but what about personal items like radios, clocks, figurines, tv's, clothing etc. Can they be dispersed, donated prior to probate if in agreement with my brother and I (we are only descendants)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. As you likely know, the POD bank account does not require probate. Certain assets pass outside probate and thus are not governed by the will and thus do not require probate. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts. With regard to the personal items, as long as you and your brother agree, you can handle these any way you choose at any time. There is nothing that needs to be done legally to transfer title to these assets and there is no one to contest your actions, thus, you can at any time discard, distribute, sell, or donate these items. The primary purpose of probate is to show a third party that you have the authority to transfer title to estate assets; this is necessary when legal title has to be transferred such as with a car or house; personal property does not require this and so you and your brother are free to proceed on the personal items. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!