Keeping a case out of probate court does not have to be difficult -; there are steps that Probate Attorneys in Maple Valley, WA can take to ensure that certain property goes to your heirs without the need for probate. One of the simplest ways is to designate a beneficiary who will inherit your securities, bank and retirement accounts, vehicles and real estate. Read on to learn how you can avoid the time-consuming probate process.
POD (Payable on Death) Accounts
A POD account offers an easy way to keep even large amounts of money out of the probate process. All you have to do is fill out a bank-provided form that names a beneficiary who will inherit your money after your death. As long as you live, the person named in the POD account has no access; you can choose a different beneficiary or spend the money as you choose.
At the time of death, the beneficiary only has to show proof of identity to collect the funds in the account. If you have a joint account with your spouse, when one person dies, the money automatically goes to the surviving spouse.
If you open a 401(k) or IRA, the paperwork has a section where you can designate a beneficiary. After you die, the money in the account stays out of probate and your beneficiary can claim it directly. A surviving spouse has more choices than other beneficiaries do; if you are single, you can choose whomever you want.
Transferring Securities on Death
Most states have a law that allows you to name someone to inherit your brokerage accounts, bonds and stocks. These accounts work in much the same way as a POD account does; when you register your account with the company or stockbroker, you’ll get papers that show your name and that of your beneficiary.
After your account ownership is registered, the beneficiary has no access to the stocks and bonds as long as you live. However, after you’re gone, that person can claim the assets by proving the death and providing identification.
We don’t like to think about death, but we should all think about passing our property on to our heirs. By naming a beneficiary with a TOD or POD account, you can eliminate the hassles associated with a probate case. For help in setting up such an account, head over to Visit Iddins Law Group to consult Attorneys in Maple Valley, WA.