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When a person dies there are two types of assets that are created, the probate assets and the non-probate assets. The properties of the deceased that fall under his or her Will is referred to as probate assets. Probate assets are those that have to pass through the probate court before they can be distributed to the beneficiaries of the deceased. Non-probate assets are assets that can immediately be passed down to a deceased’s beneficiaries upon his or her death. These assets don’t have to go through the taxing and lengthy process of probate proceedings. These types of assets are outside the ruling of a Will, and even if the deceased were to put it in his or her will that these properties will go to this person, it would not have an effect because non-probate assets are out of a probate jurisdiction.

Breaking Down The Non-Probate Assets

Joint Tenancy

There are two types of concurrent estates that a person can own in his or her lifetime. These types of concurrent estates are joint tenancy and tenancy in common. A property bought under a tenancy in common platform is considered probate, joint tenancy, on the other hand, is non-probate. Both are fixed assets but how they are passed are entirely different. Joint tenancy has a very type of right that goes along with it called the right of survivorship.  This means that once one of the other owners dies, the surviving owner inherits everything directly and entirely. The deceased’s interest in the property ceases automatically on his or her death, and it does not fall or become part of his estate. There can be no intervention made during the execution of any documentation, and it is straightforward. The surviving owner becomes the sole owner of the estate and registration of the change of legal ownership is not complicated, it generally requires just the proof of death of the deceased joint tenant. This proof is easily achieved through a death certificate.

Insurance Nominations

The S 49L insurance trust nomination is a statutory trust and a clear non-probate asset according to the Insurance Act framework. While the revocable s49M insurance policy though not strictly a non-probate asset passes down to the nominated persons without intervention from any estate administrators.

Insurance as a whole need not go through court proceedings for nominated persons to get the deceased death benefits.

CPF Nominations

CPF savings cannot be willed away. They also do not form any part of the deceased CPF holder’s estate. Under S 25 of the Central Provident Fund Act, a CPF nomination states the members can write who will get their savings when they die. They can also specify how much each person gets.

The succession of a deceased CPF account holder’s savings is distributed according to the persons named in his or her nomination form. The nominee could be an individual such as a family member or even a corporation.

Should a CPF account holder die without naming anyone as his or her CPF nominee, the CPF monies of the deceased will be given to the Public Trust’s Office to be given out to the family according to the Intestate Act.

Insurance, Joint tenancy, and CPF Savings are the types of assets that fall under the non-probate category, they are protected from creditors and even opportunistic family members, and are an excellent way to avoid probate court which can cost both financial and emotional stress to any beneficiary.

Want to learn more about estate planning and probate and non-probate properties? Grab a copy of the book “The Rockwills Guide to Succession and Trusts in Wealth Management” and begin the journey to estate planning expertise. Click the link below:

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