Assets that pass outside of your will are those assets that
are not subject to the terms of your will.
Whether you are a Fort Wayne, Indiana area resident, or a resident of
another state, you need to consider carefully how you hold title to all of your
assets. Only those assets that you own
in your individual name without beneficiary designation will pass according to
the terms of your will. Similarly, assets
that you own with someone else as a tenant in common will also pass through
your will. However, assets owned outside
of these two categories do not go through probate when you die, but rather they go
to your beneficiaries directly.
Assets that pass directly to your beneficiaries may include:
- Property you own as joint tenants with rights of
survivorship with someone else.
- Life insurance proceeds with named beneficiaries other than
- IRAs, retirement plans, and pension plans that are payable
to beneficiaries other than your estate.
- Investment products such as savings, checking and brokerage
accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs) that are payable on death (POD),
or transferred on death (TOD) to a designated beneficiary other than your
- Assets you have placed in a trust do not pass through
probate but pass to beneficiaries named in the trust.
Closely held business interests like partnerships and
S-corporations are often subject to agreements among the other business owners
that may limit your ability to transfer your business interests by will. If these agreements exist, it is important to
bring them to the attention of your estate attorney.
If some assets pass under
the terms of your will and others by beneficiary designation outside of your will, the final distribution of your estate may
become complicated and sometimes disputed by your beneficiaries after your death. You need to consider carefully how you hold
title to all of your assets. It is
important to consult with an estate attorney to understand these issues and to
affect the most appropriate planning and precisely document your wishes.