Estate planning attorneys are essentially charged with the responsibility of helping clients facilitate the smooth transference of assets to their heirs in the event of their death. Taking steps to keep the assets intact is one facet, and doing everything possible to make sure the wishes of the deceased are clear so that the estate will not be contested is another. Most people would also like to see their heirs receive their inheritances in a timely manner without a lot of hassles, lag time, and expenses. When you refine these details down you can use one word to describe the goal: efficiency. Quality estate planning enables the efficient administration of the estate.
There are a number of different vehicles that are typically utilized to achieve the goal of efficient asset transference, and the appropriate combination of components varies depending on the case. One of these that makes sense in a lot of situations is a pay on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) account. These accounts are very simple to understand and implement, and in a way they work like an insurance policy. You open a POD or TOD and name a beneficiary, and that person automatically assumes ownership of the account in the event of your passing. Multiple beneficiaries can also be named, but some states require that each one of them would have to receive an equal share of the assets in the account. This can be done with bank accounts, but securities can also change hands via a transfer on death stipulation. A few states even allow vehicle ownership to be transferred via a TOD arrangement.
Pay on death accounts are the model of efficiency, resulting in maximum retention of assets and zero waiting time for your heirs to receive their inheritances. Depending on the specifics of the estate in question, POD/TOD accounts can be a valuable component that is the perfect solution in many instances.
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