Not all wealth is distributed according to a will. Life insurance, annuities, pensions, IRAs and 401(k)s are distributed according to the beneficiary designation assigned in your contract or policy.11
Another way to transfer assets is to assign a beneficiary through a payable on death (POD) account designation. Some states allow bank account owners to assign their beneficiaries to inherit accounts without having to go through probate.12
This includes checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts, insurance contracts and investments. It’s easy, there are no fund limits and you own the assets and have full access to them until you pass away. Once you die, your beneficiary will need to provide the bank his or her identification, a certified copy of the death certificate, and any additional paperwork required by the institution or insurance carrier.13
We are not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about their personal situation.
Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.
11 The American College of Financial Services. Sept. 2, 2016. “3 Things to Teach Clients about Beneficiary Designations.” http://knowledge.theamericancollege.edu/blog/3-things-to-teach-clients-about-beneficiary-designations. Accessed Sept. 22, 2016.
12 Mary Randolph. Nolo.com. 2016. “Payable-on-Death (POD) Accounts: The Basics.” https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter1-1.html. Accessed Sept. 22, 2016.