How Do Beneficiary Designations and Joint Ownership Transfer Assets at My Death?

transfer assets

There are multiple ways that you can pass on assets to your loved ones. Some may be more complex than others but can help you achieve various aspects of your individual goals. Two popular options are beneficiary designation and joint ownership.

Beneficiary designation is available with multiple types of accounts, such as brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and even life insurance policies. With these accounts, you individually file a beneficiary designation to ensure that the company has clear instructions on who to give your assets to if you pass away.

You are eligible to update these beneficiary designations at any point in time and can also name back up beneficiaries in the event that something happens to the people you originally appointed. It is important to note that beneficiary designations transfer outside of probate, so even if you list something in your will as going to a chosen beneficiary, if it is one of these separate accounts with its own beneficiary designations, those designations will supersede your previous plans.

Another option for easily transferring property to your loved ones is jointly owned property. Deciding whether or not this is most appropriate for you may require a conversation with an estate planning attorney. Jointly owned property is simply property that is held in the name of two or more parties, such as business partners, friends, husband and wife or family members. On the death of the first person the second person is eligible to receive these assets immediately. For further assistance in helping you align this with your estate plan, schedule a time to speak with a lawyer.

Our Pasadena office can assist you with your next steps.

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