Is Probate Always Required?
Situations where probate is not required require both of these conditions to be met: (1) The person who passed did not own any real estate; and (2) He or she owned other assets and accounts with a total value of less than $100,000 at the time of death.
If both of those conditions apply, then probate can be dispensed with. Instead, a Small Estate Affidavit can be used by the heirs to round up and disburse the assets and accounts of the person who passed away.
But for those who owned any real estate or who had other assets with a total value in excess of $100,000, probate will be required unless they have taken specific steps to avoid probate – usually by the creation of a Family Trust.