Transfer of Non-Probate Assets

Frequently, 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 type of 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 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, 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.  If you would like us to help you navigate through the process, please contact us.

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We provide legal services to individuals and their businesses, primarily in the areas of Estate Planning (will, trusts, & powers of attorney), Probate, working with Small (closely held) Businesses, and Medicaid Planning.

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