Well, there are several categories of assets that are not included in probate in California. The first category are assets that are owned by a revocable trust. If someone created a revocable trust during his or her lifetime and transferred assets to that trust, then those assets that are owned by the trust are not part of the probate case.
The other class of assets that are not part of a probate case are assets where there is a designated beneficiary. So, an example of these will include life insurance and most retirement accounts.
A third category of assets that are not included in a probate case are assets that are held jointly, such as a joint checking or savings account. The law says that when one person dies on a joint financial account, the other person is the sole owner by operation of law.
And so those types of assets, the jointly owned assets, most retirement accounts or beneficiary designated assets, and any assets that are held by a revocable trust are, are not part of the probate estate.
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