Title Trumps Will

One of first duties of executor is to sort out ownership interest in estate's real and personal property by assessing which forms of ownership the title is held at time of death?

  • Decedent own property 
  • Fee simple absolute
  • Joint tenancy without right or survivorship
  • Joint tenancy with right of survivorship
  • Tenancy by the entirety
  • Life estate 
  • Types of future interests
  • Other?

Title tends to be a rich source of fights among heirs.

Controlling  Rule: Title Beats Will Every Time

Why? The determination of title determines if there are any probate assets. The following assets are not probate assets:

  • those that pass by beneficiary designation
  • trusts funds
  • joint assets
No Probate Assets, Nothing Passes Under Will
A Key Value of Probate Lawyer                                             is To Determine Title Upfront