Planning for the latter stages of your life and the ultimate distribution of your assets after you pass away is a multi-leveled endeavor to say the least. For this reason it is usually going to be necessary to execute a number of different documents and utilize multiple financial instruments in an effort to optimize your resources and enable smooth and efficient asset transfers.
Depending on the nature of your wishes, the extent of your assets and exactly how they are positioned all this can become rather complicated. Each case is different and exactly how to proceed is going to vary, and this is of course one of the reasons why “do-it-yourself” will kits and “one-size-fits-all” estate planning software programs are not recommended.
This having been said, there are however some pretty simple and straightforward tools that can be utilized quite effectively when you’re planning your estate, and pay on death accounts are one of them. With pay on death accounts (which are sometimes called transfer on death accounts) you name a beneficiary or beneficiaries when you open the account. In the event of your passing the beneficiary assumes ownership of the funds that are remaining in the account in a fast, efficient and direct manner. Banks and other financial institutions routinely offer pay on death accounts, and even some brokerages provide clients with a transfer on death option.
In addition to the facilitation of a smooth and hassle-free transfer of assets pay on death accounts also provide you with a great deal of flexibility. You have ready access to the funds that are in the account throughout your life, but your beneficiary does not have access until you pass away. You’re perfectly free to change the beneficiary or add additional beneficiaries as you see fit, and you can also close the account entirely at any time.
Pay death accounts are a simple and straightforward way to transfer assets after you pass away and they are something to keep in mind when you are planning your estate.