Transfer of Non-Probate Assets

Oftentimes, a person has a mix of probate and non-probate assets.  Probate assets are dealt with either through a full administration or a release of assets.  Non-probate assets are transferred without probate court supervision.  The process for transferring these assets varies with the asset.

  • Real Estate: In Ohio, when title is taken by a Survivorship Deed, or if the property was purchased a couple decades ago, by a Tenancy by the Entireties or Joint and Survivor Deed; or if a Transfer on Death designation was filed, the property will pass outside of probate.  Title is generally vested in the surviving tenant or the beneficiary by filing an affidavit and a copy of the death certificate with the County Recorder.
  • Bank Accounts: Generally speaking, if a bank account is held in survivorship form, or is a Payable on Death account, the survivor or beneficiary will need to take a death certificate to the bank, along with identification, and under certain circumstances, a tax release.
  • Insurance Policies: While each company is different, generally speaking, the beneficiary will need to present a claim form provided by the insurance company and a copy of the death certificate.
  • Stocks, bond, and other securities: Each issuer or transfer agent has differing requirements.  Generally speaking, the surviving owner or beneficiary will need to provide a copy of the death certificate, a transfer form, perhaps an application for a new account, and under some circumstances, a tax release.
  • Retirement Plans: Each plan administrator or custodian will have their own claim/transfer forms and procedures.  But typically, the beneficiary will need to submit the company’s forms, a death certificate, and under some circumstances, a tax release.

The transfer of non-probate assets usually is not difficult, but each asset has its own quirks.  The transfer of real estate requires the preparation of an affidavit.  If you would like us to help you navigate through the process, please contact us.

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