Non-probate transfers and beneficiary designations are vital parts of your estate plan. When you opened your bank account, do you remember the banker asking, “Who would you like to have as beneficiary if you should pass away?” What you probably don’t realize is that the banker did you and your loved ones a huge favor! The person you named is your legal beneficiary designation.
By having that official document, you save your bank account and your loved ones from the lengthy, complicated probate process. Therefore, you give your beneficiary access to the money immediately should you pass away. In Missouri, there is also a beneficiary designation offered at the DMV when you register your automobile. It pays to know about non-probate transfers and beneficiary designations.
Why is a Beneficiary Designation Important?
A beneficiary designation or a non-probate transfer is a valuable technique. A person or persons you name receive certain assets upon your death. You can have a different person on every asset. For example, your car, boat, house, and anything of value could have different beneficiary designations. Therefore, they would get them right away.
A beneficiary designation avoids the very lengthy, costly probate process and the administration of a trust. And, this leaves the assets to the person(s) of choice right away. This helps:
- Loved ones can carry on living in a way that they are used to. The money and property you want them to have won't be tied up in lengthy legal proceedings.
- Your hard-earned money and real estate easily pass to whomever you select right away. As a result, you won't have the court choosing someone else or forcing your loved ones to sell.
- Provide peace of mind – you will know exactly who is getting your assets. And, you will know that they will be dispersed without a complicated, drawn-out process.
- Avoid the probate process; your estate will be smaller, resulting in less time to administer. In conclusion, you will have lower costs, and fewer expenses.
Types of Beneficiary Documents
Beneficiary Deed – A deed that conveys title of a parcel of real estate to a beneficiary or beneficiaries upon death. Your home is often your largest asset. By having the property transfer outside of the probate process, it is quick and cost-effective.
Beneficiary Designations – Bank accounts, brokerage accounts, car titles, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and numerous other accounts allow the account to transfer upon the death by simply designating a beneficiary for the account.
Joint Forms of Property Ownership – There are numerous forms of property joint-ownership. So, it is important to make sure that property is held in a form of common ownership that allows an easy transfer. That is to say, upon death, there should be a simple transfer of property to the joint owner.
Not Sure if You Have a Beneficiary Designation?
Go to your banks and financial institutions and ask if you have them in place. If they are not set up as beneficiary designations, request to do so immediately. If you have designated beneficiaries previously, consider if they are still living or in good favor. Have you made a large property purchase without a joint title?
Financial status and assets change. People pass away. And, children grow, needing help as they go. Review your estate plan and your non-probate transfers and beneficiary designations with Bolinger Law Firm in St. Louis. In conclusion, we can review your assets, make sure that your properties have the correct forms of ownership. We will help you avoid probate and advise you on updates and current laws. And, we will make any number of changes at your request.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation non-probate transfer and estate planning consultation. Have peace of mind that your property is protected and your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death. (636) 386-8322