How your property is owned can have a very large impact on whether it has to pass through probate in order for it to be passed down to your estate beneficiaries.
If a property is held in sole ownership, only the deceased person would own it so it would not automatically pass to someone else on death. If the assets are owned by tenants in common, and one of the owners dies, that owner’s share passes to his beneficiaries by state law or will, and not automatically to one of the other owners on death.
For joint tenancies, however, the share automatically goes to the other owners upon death. Designating the ownership as joint tenancy by survivorship will ensure that it passes to the other upon death. Tenancy by the entirety is basically the same as joint tenancy except that it can only be used if the two owners are husband and wife. It’s also not available in every state.
If a state allows for a Community Property, the property earned or purchased during marriage is considered community property unless something else is agreed to by the spouses. Each owns and equal 50% interest in the property in this situation.
Only property held in joint tenancy by the entirety automatically passes without having to go through probate. Property held in other fashions may have to go through probate, however.
If your estate is not able to pass directly to someone else and has to go through probate the estate administrator or executor may have to obtain and estate surety bond in order to protect the interest of the estate and its beneficiaries in accordance with applicable state law.
Where can you purchase instant estate surety bonds?
Colonial Surety offers the direct and digital way to obtain estate bonds, also known as probate bonds, personal representative bonds, administrator bonds, and executor bonds. We are the insurance company — which means no agent, no broker, and no middleman. We make it easy to obtain your bond instantly. The steps are easy — get a quote online, fill out your information, satisfy underwriting requirements, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file your bond from your office. It’s that simple!