Once you have your Estate Plan in order, next we move to titling your accounts.
The importance of titling accounts correctly.
It is crucial that an individual understand the titling options on his/her individual accounts (such as bank accounts or retirement accounts). You may have the best Estate Plan in the world, however, if you do not title your assets correctly, your good intentions will fail. This is true especially if you plan to avoid probate. We provide a general guideline for you below. As you read the points, keep the following in mind. Assets titled in your “individual name,” with no designated beneficiary, transfer through probate.
- Your Individual Name (With no designated beneficiary): These assets travel through probate and pass per your Last Will. However, if you did not draft a Will, passage occurs per Florida’s intestate succession laws.
- Name of your Estate: Same as #1.
- Payable on Death – POD (bank accounts, CD’s, etc): Named beneficiaries receive assets directly.
- Transfer on Death – TOD (investment accounts, etc.): Same as #3.
- Beneficiary Designations (retirement plans, life insurance, etc.): These pass directly to your named beneficiaries. If you fail to name a beneficiary, they pass through probate. Even use of a testamentary trust involves probate.
Disclaimer: The Law Office of Lori Vella’s website contains general information directed to Florida residents. This firm does not intend to give legal advice through its pages and/or blog. If you need legal advice, we encourage you to find an attorney licensed in your state. This language on this website website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this firm.