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Using death beneficiaries to avoid probate for your heirs

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2018 | Firm News

Probate proceedings can be costly and time-consuming. In the worst cases, a probated estate can take years to resolve. For this reason, most Florida estate planners will take action by whatever means possible to prevent their heirs from needing to wait through probate proceedings in order to receive their inheritances.

One way to achieve this for certain assets is through the use of death beneficiaries. Death beneficiaries allow estate planners to designate specific property to become the property of an heir or beneficiary at the moment of death.

Here are three types of death beneficiaries Florida residents may be able to use for certain kinds of assets:

1. Payable on death accounts (PODs)

Payable on death accounts are financial accounts that will be inherited by a specifically named beneficiary. They’re easy to set up at most banks and all the account owner needs to do is fill out a form. After the account owner dies, the beneficiary goes to the bank with appropriate identification and the death certificate to collect the contents of the account.

2. Beneficiary designations on retirement accounts

Whether it’s an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a 401(k), these accounts have beneficiary designations associated with them. In fact, there are many problems that can arise as a result of these designations if they conflict with what the estate planner wrote in his or her last will and testament. In the event of such a conflict, the beneficiary designation on the retirement account will almost always supersede anything written in the will, so it’s important that Florida residents keep their beneficiary designations up-to-date on these accounts.

3. Transfer on death registrations

Transfer on death registrations may be available in some cases to transfer specific securities to another individual at death. They are similar to PODs and simply require signing a registration form.

Are you concerned about bypassing probate?

Your heirs and beneficiaries may not need to slog through the probate process for all of your assets. If you’re concerned about the delays and costs associated with probate, learn more about probate proceedings and how to avoid them by thoroughly investigating this area of Florida estate planning law.


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