No, jointly held assets between husband and wife almost always are “survivorship” assets, with the surviving spouse automatically owning those assets upon the decedent’s death. Insurance and other assets which have a “pay on death” designation pass “outside probate,” at least when going to the spouse, and the beneficiaries do not need a court order. They usually have to fill out a form, submit a certified death certificate or take other steps, but probate should not be needed. However it is worth your time to speak with a probate lawyer to ensure no probate is needed.

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