If an Individual Dies With No Will, Their Estate Is Referred to as an Intestate Estate
If there is a clear succession, the process for informal probate of an estate may be used. Even if the decedent did not have a complex estate plan in place, some of the decedent’s assets may not have to go through the probate process.
For example, life insurance proceeds do not go through probate if they are in the beneficiaries’ individual name. Also, the deceased’s IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account funds will not be subject to probate if they are in a beneficiaries’ individual name.
Certain accounts are payable-on-death, which means that they are paid out to the named beneficiary without going through the probate process.
Additionally, a transfer-on-death deed can transfer real estate without going through the entire probate process. Last but not least, when real estate or other title property is jointly owned by the decedent as tenants in common, the probate process will be necessary to transfer good title.
The informal probate procedure may be used if there is no will, clear succession, and no expectation that an heir will challenge the decision. Consequently, the personal representative has no reason to anticipate an heir contesting the distribution of assets, and it is simple for the representative to ascertain to whom assets should be distributed, once creditors become known and determined.
When there is no will, formal probate may be required if it is difficult to ascertain who will inherit from the intestate estate or if there is a risk that an heir or potential heir may contest the matter. Even in the case of formal probate, accounts with named beneficiaries and payable-on-death accounts still do not go through the probate process.
When there is clear succession, and there is no expectation that an heir will contest the matter, informal probate may be used in the absence of a will. Contact Baker Law Group today to get the assistance you need from a Denver Probate attorney.