Many Floridians who are estate planning are eager to help their heirs and beneficiaries avoid the probate process. While probate could be unavoidable for certain assets, individuals may be able to use various strategies to prevent the need for probate for some specific assets. One of these strategies involves the use of death beneficiaries.
Death beneficiaries relate to the designation of a ”beneficiary upon death.” Basically, this individual can establish ownership of the designated asset upon your death after presenting his or her identification and the death certificate. Such assets generally don’t pass through probate.
Different types of death beneficiary relationships
Below are three different, but similar, types of death beneficiary relationships you may want to explore:
Payable on Death accounts (PODs): Banks and other financial institutions may allow a designated beneficiary to inherit assets upon the death of the account owner. You can request that your bank provide you with death beneficiary paperwork. Upon your death, your beneficiary simply has to go to the bank with his or her ID and the death certificate to transfer ownership.
Retirement accounts: Many kinds of financial accounts, including retirement accounts like 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), automatically have death beneficiary designations associated with them, and it’s important to fill this paperwork out appropriately and keep it up to date.
Transfer on Death Registrations: This is kind of like a Payable on Death Account, as it allows you to transfer specific assets — like a brokerage account or a vehicle — to your designated beneficiary upon your death. This involves the signing of a registration statement that indicates to whom specific assets should belong upon your death.
Have your reviewed your probate-avoidance options?
You may have a lot of different estate planning options available to try and prevent the bulk of your assets from passing through probate. In addition to designating death beneficiaries, individuals could also create trust accounts which can allow the smooth and confidential transfer of wealth from one person to another. In addition, there may be option of setting up joint property ownership so that certain property is owned by two people and the surviving person assumes full ownership at death and also of gifting assets to heirs and beneficiaries prior to death.