Estate planning involves the transfer of your assets to your loved ones after you pass away, and there are a lot of ways that you can get resources into their hands. Many people assume that the proper way for the average person to arrange for the transfers is through the creation of a last will. The last will is indeed the most commonly utilized vehicle of asset transfer, but it may not always be the best one. The primary reason why people often look for alternatives to a last will is the fact that your estate must pass through probate when you use a last will as your asset transfer vehicle.
Probate is the legal process of estate administration, an interim during which the probate or surrogate court in the jurisdiction that is local to the deceased attests to the validity of the will and subsequently supervises its administration. The reasons why people try to avoid probate at times is because it is time-consuming, it can be costly, and it is a public proceeding that provides a forum for those who may want to challenge your estate.
There are a number of ways to pass along assets outside of the process of probate; one very simple way of doing so would be to open pay on death accounts. These accounts are offered by banks and many brokerages, and once you fund the account you name a beneficiary who will assume ownership of the assets upon your passing. You have total access to the money while you’re alive, and you could change the beneficiary if you want to or even close the account entirely if that is your preference.
Pay on death accounts are a simple and straightforward way to transfer assets. To learn exactly how these accounts can fit into a comprehensive estate plan, simply arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.