What assets are part of a probate estate?

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What assets are part of a probate estate?

My mother recently passed away. My brother and I are the beneficiaries according to her will. She left a condo, and a surprising number of accounts for us like a Non-qualified annuity, a retirement account, life insurance and a small IRA. The death benefits were not addressed in the investments themselves but dictated by the will, with the exception of her retirement account which listed her 3 children (sister passed in 1992). My brother is very money oriented, me not so much. He has a retirement account, I do not. I was surprised to find a $15k Repetitive payout annuity with myself only listed as beneficiary. My brother insists it should be split (he takes equal cash). I don’t think she intended that. Is there law pertaining?

Asked on May 14, 2014 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, if a bank account names anyone other than the decedent, then most likely the account is not an estate asset but rather a joint tenancy account or an account payable upon death like the $15,000 pay out annuity that you wrote about.

That $15,000 account appears to be yours. I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney in your locality for help. One can be found on attorneypages.com.


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