Your probate estate includes all of the assets that will pass to your heirs through your will.
It doesn't include anything that you have sold, given away, put into trusts, or passed directly to recipients by naming them as beneficiaries of specific accounts.
Assets you can pass directly to beneficiaries include money in retirement plans, insurance policies, payable-on-death bank accounts, and transferable-on-death securities accounts.
In addition, any property you own jointly with rights of survivorship passes directly to your co-owner outside the probate process. However, all the assets you own at the time of your death, including half the value of property you own jointly, are considered part of your estate for purposes of calculating whether estate taxes are due.
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- Depreciation, Intestate, Payable-on-death, Probate, Real property, Rights of survivorship, Transferable-on-death
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