Contact The Firm

How does the court handle nonprobatable assets?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Estate Administration |

When administering an estate, the appropriate authorities will not have to manage assets that are nonprobatable. These are things that do not have to go to probate.

The Texas Estates Code outlines specific assets that are nonprobatable and the rules for handling them during the administration of the estate.

Joint ownership

If you and another person own an asset together, you will need to create an agreement that provides that other person with full rights upon your death. The right of survivorship agreement makes the property a nonprobatable asset because it will dictate that the other person receives full ownership when you die without further need for interference from the court.

Community property

If you have a spouse, then everything you obtained during your marriage is half-owned by your spouse. When you die, the law assumes all the assets that fall under community property laws become the sole property of your spouse. These would be nonprobatable assets. But keep in mind that you can use your will or another estate document to give someone else ownership, which might then require the need for probate.

Other situations

You can always create legal setups so that something happens automatically on your death, which would mean no probate. For example, accounts with beneficiaries automatically transfer and do not go through probate. You can dictate in your will what you want to happen, but your will has to go through probate. Consider designing your estate to ensure that assets end up where you want and not just where the law will automatically send them.