A few tips on avoiding probate.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

Just to be clear, no one knows if Mr. Rogers included the above wish in his ‘will’ or not. But the quote may serve to illustrate the importance of having an overall estate plan, one with clear instructions on the final distribution of assets…including who should get the family dog.

In short, savvy investors seek professional advice on how to avoid probate.

Naming Beneficiaries…

We’ve all been conditioned to cringe at the very mentioning of the word probate. And well we should. After all, if we don’t want our assets, or any claims against our estate, listed as part of the public record upon our death, we need to have a will that is part of an overall estate plan.

Joint Tenancy with a Right of Survivorship:

The term refers to property owned jointly, for example, and when one dies the other ‘inherits’ without the bane of public record announcements.

It’s the simple things, like naming beneficiaries to bank accounts, or retirement portfolios: POD or TOD.

Maybe, after meeting with your estate-planning attorney, you decide a trust doesn’t fit your needs and a Last Will is all you require.

Payable on Death (POD)

Upon death, the transfer of your money to named beneficiaries is easy and without the delays normally associated with probate proceedings.

Ask the bank or credit union for The Form to create your POD accounts. Usually, this is a free service that will ensure that all of your checking, savings, CDs, and savings bonds, for example.

Transfer on Death (TOD)

Picky-picky, for sure, but there is a distinction between the two. The main difference is that a TOD agreement names beneficiaries who will receive your stocks, bonds and mutual funds…and, yes, that secret hedge fund.

To begin the conversation about estate planning contact us today.