nonprobate assets

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In trusts and estates, non-probate assets are assets in which the title has been transferred within a decedent’s lifetime, or assets in which transfer of title is controlled by a survivorship mechanism. Non-probate assets, in contrast to probate assets, change ownership outside of probate. Examples of non-probate assets include:

Nonprobate assets are sometimes considered in calculating the elective share, a mechanism that allows a surviving spouse to choose between an elective share calculation or under the decedent’s will. The inclusion of nonprobate assets in this calculation is determined by jurisdiction.

Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]