Many people in Washington State often find the process of probate confusing. This is true of people who are trying to make their own estate plans as well as it is of people who may be beneficiaries of another person's estate. Probate is a legal process but it is important to know that not every assets must pass through this process. Knowing the scope of probate can help people make decisions that are right for their estates and beneficiaries.
As explained by Fidelity Investments, if you establish a trust, the assets in your trust will not need to go through probate after you die. However, that does not mean that your entire estate will bypass probate because it is very possible that not all of your assets will be included in your trust. This is why many people develop both wills and trusts.
Any personal property, for example, may be eligible for probate. An asset that generally is setup to have an identified beneficiary but does not have a beneficiary may also end up going through probate. Proceeds from an insurance policy with a beneficiary, however, may bypass probate. If you have assets with joint ownership and rights of survivorship may also not need to go through the probate process.
If you would like to learn more about probate and what items may be required to go through probate and what assets may be outside the scope of probate, please feel free to visit the estate distribution page of our Washingon State inheritance and probate website.