Understanding Transfer of Property by Operation of Law
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
August 9, 2021
BARRY E. HAIMO, ESQ.: There are a variety of different types of ownership that will transfer by operation of law: most notably, tenants by the entirety and joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Also, in Florida, homestead will pass by operation of law. In addition, there are some contractual arrangements that will pass by operation of law, such as life insurance and retirement accounts.
Whether or not you have a validly executed will, your estate will go through probate to the extent that you die owning assets in your name. It is important to understand how transfer of property by operation of law comes into play in this process. First, an attorney must be retained to open up an estate with the court. Then a personal representative is appointed to administer the estate. Read on to learn more about this process.
The Role of a Personal Representative
First, the personal representative works with the attorney and is responsible for overseeing the entire process. They begin with locating a validly executed will. Then the personal representative must identify and gather all the deceased person’s assets. And they must file an inventory with the court and notify the deceased’s creditors of the pending estate.
Next, assets are then pooled together and used to satisfy creditors’ claims. Finally, the balance of assets are ultimately distributed to the proper beneficiaries. They are determined by the will or may be decided for you by the state in which you reside.
Generally, all personal property must pass through probate if owned in your name. And property that passes by operation of law are some joint accounts, life insurance and retirement benefits.
Property that may pass outside of probate includes property that is:
- Not owned in your name
- Owned in some jointly owned forms
- Passed by operation of law
- Held in trust
- Properly structured life insurance and retirement benefits
It’s important to avoid probate with careful estate planning. “Planning with Purpose,” Haimo Law can help you plan for and protect your family and your business’s interests for the immediate and long-term future. Together, we can take advantage of incredible tools and techniques that are available to you right now.
Call us for wills, trusts, probate, asset protection and business planning. Haimo Law offers premium professional representation at an affordable price. Alternative fee arrangements are available upon request. We are reliable, approachable, honest, hard-working and attentive.
Helping your family and business is our priority. We look forward to meeting and exceeding your expectations.
Originally published 05/19/2015. Updated 08/09/2021.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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