Some examples of non-probate assets include:
Jointly held assets: Assets that are owned jointly with another individual, such as joint bank accounts or real estate held jointly in Title with Survivorship Rights. When one owner dies, the remaining owner(s) automatically inherit the property without the need for probate.
Beneficiary designations: Assets that have a named beneficiary, such as Life Insurance policies, retirement accounts, and Annuities. When the individual dies, these assets pass directly to the named beneficiary.
Trust assets: Assets that are held in a Trust or Living Trust, such as real estate, investments, and personal property. When the individual dies, these assets are distributed according to the terms of the trust and are not subject to probate.
Payable-on-death or transfer-on-death accounts: Bank accounts, brokerage accounts, 401(k)s, IRAs, stocks, bonds and other securities designated as Pay-On-Death (POD) and Transfer-On-Death (TOD). When the individual dies, the account passes directly to the named beneficiary.
Even though these types of assets do not go through probate, they still need to be properly cataloged, managed and distributed according to the wishes of the deceased.
This is in contrast to Probate Assets, which are required to go through state supervised probate process.