IS PROBATE ALWAYS NECESSARY?.

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IS PROBATE ALWAYS NECESSARY?.

mY HUSBAND’S WILL LEAVES EVERYTHING TO ME. mOST HOLDINGS ARE JOINTLY OWNED OR “IN TRUST FOR”. mUST IT GO THROUGH PROBATE?

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

All wills must go through probate.  However, New York law provides for simplified probate when the value of the personal property of the decedent less property exempt for family benefit does not exceed $20,000 (effective 1/1/09 this amount will be $30,000).  The voluntary administrator may file an affidavit with the court.

The assets that are jointly held or designated "in trust for" pass outside of the probate estate.


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