Thursday, April 08, 2010

What assets do and do not pass under a will?

In Texas, assets that commonly pass under a testator’s will include:

  • Real property, both surface rights and mineral interests.

  • Bank and brokerage accounts, Certificates of Deposit, stocks, and bonds (depending on whether there is a beneficiary designation).

  • One-half of any Individual Retirement Accounts which are considered community property owned by the testator’s spouse.

  • Tangible personal property, both titled and untitled.

  • Royalties generated from intellectual property.

  • Money owed to the testator at the time of his/her death.

Assets that generally do not pass under a will in Texas include:

  • Life insurance.

  • Some employer provided retirement plans in which the testator is the participant.

  • Employer provided retirement plans in which the testator’s spouse is the participant.

  • Individual retirement accounts owned solely by the testator.

  • Property owned in a trust of which the testator is a beneficiary.

There are instances where some of the assets described above may be passed under a will. One common example occurs when the estate or will executor is named as the beneficiary for one or more of the assets listed.

If you need a Texas Wills, Trust & Estate Planning Lawyer, contact Peterson Law Group.

If you need a will, check out our estate planning questionnaire.

If you need to start a probate, check out our probate questionnaire.

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