Probate Assets

This Personal Property Affidavit transfer procedure is effective only for:

  • Decedent’s personal property
  • That is an asset that is subject to probate (Decedent’s “probate assets”) — an asset held in Decedent’s name without a designated beneficiary (other than his/her estate) on death.   RCW 11.62.010

Decedent’s probate assets expressly include:

  • Not only property belonging to the Decedent alone (his/her separate property)
  • But also, if Decedent was married at death, property belonging to the Decedent and his/her surviving spouse as their community property.  RCW 11.62.010

This procedure is neither effective nor needed for Decedent’s nonprobate assets — those that pass upon death to a named survivor or beneficiary outside of probate.
 

Examples of Probate Assets:

  • Decedent’s personal property inherited upon the deaths of his/her parents, as his/her separate property.
  • Decedent’s bank and brokerage accounts, as to his/her one-half interest in community property.
  • Decedent’s interest in a vehicle, a boat, or an airplane, as a tenant-in-common (ie, not joint tenancy) with other joint owners.
  • A life insurance policy owned by Decedent on his/her life and whose named beneficiary is his/her estate.
  • Decedent’s IRA or a Keogh Plan for his/her benefit and whose named beneficiary upon his/her death is his/her estate.

Examples of Nonprobate Assets:

  • Decedent’s car, as a joint tenant (ie, with right of survivorship).
  • Decedent’s bank account, payable on death (“POD”) to one of Decedent’s children.
  • A life insurance policy owned by Decedent on his/her life and whose named beneficiary is other than his/her estate (eg, his/her spouse or children).
  • Decedent’s IRA or Keogh Plan for his/her benefit and whose named beneficiary upon his/her death is other than his/her estate (eg, his/her spouse or children).
  • Property held in trust for the benefit of Decedent and whose named beneficiary upon his/her death is other than his/her estate (eg, Decedent’s Revocable Living Trust held for (i) his/her benefit during his/her life and (ii) his/her spouse or children following his/her death).