Property that is held jointly is excluded from New York probate and excluded as part of the value of the decedent’s estate for purposes of calculating executor commission fees and estate taxes, because it automatically passes outside the estate to the surviving owner.
So if a decedent and their spouse own real or personal property together jointly, the title to the property automatically passes to the spouse. If they had a joint bank account, the funds would pass to the surviving surviving spouse after the decedent’s death.
The same holds true for a life insurance policy or pension fund with a named beneficiary and assets transferred to a trust. Therefore, the value of real or personal property that passes outside the estate is not subject to probate and would not be included when calculating executor commission fees.
If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.